Texts Are The New Support Channel: How to Use SMS For Customer Service

Text messaging is everywhere. Hospitals and medical offices text their patient’s an appointment confirmation or when their prescription is ready for pick up. Retail stores use mass texts to send out coupons and sale notifications. Corporate companies use text messages to send out important company updates and notifications. Why? Because people, especially younger generations, prefer texting over picking up the phone. 71% of consumers recommend text messaging to communicate with businesses. To accompany that statistic, 97% of companies say that text messaging for customer service purposes has bettered their company.

SMS is a great outlet to build rapport with customers and voters everywhere. It is an efficient way to keep people informed, in the loop, and answer any questions that they may have. Even big companies like Apple are utilizing text for customer service. When you go to talk with a customer service agent, Apple.com gives you the option to text apple customer support directly from your iPhone. It is easy and efficient, saving customers and agents time. Not only is SMS great for customer service, but Text Message Marketing is Undefeated.

Add That Personal Touch

Customer service through text allows for a more in-depth connection that is more personal than an email or advertisement could ever be. Especially when texts start out with “Hello, (name)”. Even though it is most likely still a text blast with the name customized, it still makes the person feel special and like the message was meant for them and only them.

When you use Robocent, you have the option of having a managed Robocent platform by our agents, or you utilize the self-service platform and use your own agents and volunteers. In either case, texting allows our agents or yours to address voters by name, and introduce themselves. This kind of back and forth communication can’t be achieved any other way. Texting has really opened up a whole new world.

When voters have that one on one customer service, they feel special, and they can have a personal connection to the campaign. This in turn results in voters knowing the candidate’s name when they go to the polls to vote. “Candidate so and so, that is the one who reached out to me! I’m voting for him.”

Save Time With SMS

While phone calls can be even more personal than texting, they are extremely time consuming. Plus, not everyone answers their phone. Text messages have a higher open and response rate as well. Not only does texting save voters time, it saves your campaign time. With saving time comes saving money. SMS is the best way to have quick communication with voters. Once voters open a campaign text, agents and volunteers have the option to reply immediately. Not only is SMS affordable, you can send out more at a time then any other method.

Not only that, but messages are not intrusive. A text is almost a way of saying “Hey, I understand you might be busy, and that is totally ok. I don’t mean to bug you, you can respond when you have some free time.” It is easy and convenient. Plus, and this is a huge plus—not everyone wants to discuss their political viewpoints over the phone. Some people would like to keep their thoughts and opinions to themselves, and text messaging allows them to be able to have a one on one conversation with a knowledgeable agent without any one around them knowing.

Who has ever received a phone call in the grocery store or other public setting that you didn’t really want to answer? For the reason of not wanting to discuss the particular topic at hand in public. The same goes for political topics. If someone receives a phone call asking them if they are voting Democrat or Republican, they might not want to give their answer out loud in a room full of people. This is why texting is so great for private matters.

Many businesses are even utilizing SMS as a support channel method, like the previously mentioned Apple. Today’s society is on the go 24/7, and many of them do not have the time for a phone call or they are not in a position where they can talk on the phone. Text is just the right level of human connection. People have jobs, family, and obligations. Texting allows people to take minimal time out of their day to respond.

Hotels now are evening utilizing the SMS channel. Your room is ready? Text delivered. Some hotels have even created an SMS virtual assistant where you send a text to a number asking, “restaurants near me”, and the virtual assistant will respond with a list of restaurants. This is the future and the go to support channel. If you aren’t utilizing it for your campaign, you are missing out.

Types of Customer Service Texts to Promote Your Campaign

Robocent offers a multitude of text message marketing and customer service methods to encourage campaign turnout.

  • Send out candidate updates. Even during the offseason, or leading up to an election, it is beneficial to send out updates regarding certain issues and progress that is being made. This is a courtesy that voters will greatly appreciate, and a nice customer service touch.
  • Birthday and holiday greetings. What is more special than getting a happy birthday text? Or a happy holiday text? These genuine interactions are likely to increase the likelihood of voters remembering you on election day. Plus, this is a method already utilized by companies across the nation. Everyone looks forward to their birthday drink or 20% off coupon that comes via text message during their birth-month. Up your game and show voters that it is thought that counts, so that you can count on their election day vote.
  • Issue reporting. Customer service 101 is accepting, handling, and improving. Customers have things to say all the time. Their food was too cold, their wait time too long, etc. Open up a dialogue with voters so that they can express any current issues that they may be experiencing or witnessing. A broken or graffitied local street sign is an example of one of these issues. The number of things a citizen might want to report are endless, but the important thing is that your campaign team will be the ones to listen and take care of it for them.

This is just a short list of the many things you can do to improve relations with voters. Show they matter, and that your campaign really cares about them and their community.

The Continuity of SMS

Most people have been there, chatting on the computer with a customer service agent or on hold waiting to speak with an agent. Suddenly, you have to step away for a second. The kids need something, the doorbell rings, or you're at work and a customer comes. By the time you get back, the agent is long gone and has closed out the chat or hung up because you didn't respond back in time. Texting eliminates this struggle completely. One of the greatest benefits is that if a conversation is started, it can be picked back up at a later time. How great is that? No reason to have to start a new chat or call again, just respond to the last message and either the same or a new representative will be there.

The same goes for campaign message threads. If the voter responds once but doesn’t have time to respond back again, they can respond at a later time. Not only will their message still be recorded but they will still get a response.

Messages Are Permanent—Unless Deleted

Having a conversation with someone can sometimes go in one ear and out the other. This happens with everyone. We call for an answer to something, and forget that answer. Texting eliminates this. For example, a campaign might send out a message saying “Hey (voter), can we count on you to vote for (candidate) in this upcoming election?” Perhaps the voter doesn’t know much about that candidate. This allows them to respond, “Not sure yet, can you maybe send me a link with more information?”

This allows the voter to come back and review the information at a time that is convenient for them. Then they can respond with their answer at a later time for that continuous conversation.

Choose SMS Today

The way that text is changing the world is remarkable. It opens up new doors for customers and businesses, and the campaign world. In such a short amount of time, texting has become a huge hit and has almost become unstoppable. The majority of people probably receive at least one marketing text message a day. So what are you waiting for? Choose SMS as your go to channel to connect with customers and voters.
There is not one business that would not benefit from SMS customer service. It is quick, effective, continuous, helpful, private and so much more. Plus, it is the way of the future. If you want to be in tune with the future and the current times, you need an SMS customer service platform for your campaign.