Ultimate guide to using SMS and text messages for customer service

Provide rockstar customer service harnessing the power of SMS and text messages. Allow Blueprint to show you how.

Lizzie Davey
eCommerce Writer

Good customer service is the backbone of every brand. It builds trust and gives a deeper insight into the problems and pain points your customers face. It’s great for business too–not least because happy customers come back. In fact, great customer service increases retention rates, and a simple increase of just 5% in retention rates can lead to a 25% increase in profits. 

On top of this, repeat customers spend more with your brand–sometimes up to 300% more. And, lastly, 72% of customers will share a positive experience they’ve had with a brand with six or more people, helping you acquire new customers via good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. 

Today’s consumers want answers and they want them quickly. SMS messaging is one of the quickest ways to reach customers by pinging directly in their pockets. Here’s how you can leverage SMS for customer service. 

What is SMS customer service? 

SMS customer service is essentially customer service delivered via text message. Instead of sending out customer support emails or communicating with a shopper via a chatbot on your site, you’re landing directly in their SMS inbox to answer their questions and solve their problems. 

There are a number of ways you can implement customer service via a text message: 

Post-purchase feedback

Reach out to customers who’ve bought a product from you and ask them how they’re finding their new purchase. This is a chance for them to share any concerns they have and gives you the opportunity to fix any worries and answer any questions they have to ensure they come back again in the future.

Facilitate conversations and solve problems

No one wants to wait 48 hours for a customer support response. Usually, when a shopper is in buying mode, they want answers ASAP otherwise they’ll go elsewhere to get the information they need (and this can often be a competitor). Allow customers to start a text conversation with you to solve any pre-order problems they have–maybe they want to know if you stock your bestselling shoes in a different color, or maybe they want to know how long delivery will take. 

Blueprint’s customer experience SMS tool makes it easy to personalize text conversations and set up automated responses in line with common customer questions. Misfits happily invite shoppers to share their thoughts and opinions via text message. 

Allow order amendments 

Good customer service helps customers take back control. They should be in charge of their shopping experience, and SMS customer service can help them do this. Ghia gives customers the chance to amend their subscriptions and orders via text message. 

Giving customers the flexibility to skip, pause, and delay subscriptions can avoid churn and stop your customers from becoming disgruntled when they end up with 10 bags of coffee that they can’t drink quickly enough. 

How to use Blueprint’s SMS messaging for customer service 

1. Get set up and started 

When you create an account with Blueprint, you’ll get a dedicated SMS number that will be your customer service hotline. 

2. Set up automated flows

When you're on the Blueprint dashboard, go to the Automated Messages tab to set up customer service flows. The post-order check-in is a good place to start, and you can customize the message to suit your brand and customers. 

3. Manage your message inbox 

Every new message you receive via your Blueprint SMS number goes straight into your message inbox. If it’s yet to be dealt with, the recipient’s name will show up in red so you can see which ones are priorities. When a message has been answered and dealt with you can mark it as complete, which removes it from the inbox. 

Best Practice for SMS Customer Service

1. Personalize communications 

80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that personalizes their experience. You can do this by segmenting customers based on their buying behaviors and product preferences to ensure you’re helping them in the best way possible. 

Personalization should go beyond rudimental practices like using the customer’s name in communication. Instead, it should gear the entire customer service experience to their unique needs and preferences. 

2. Automate commonly asked questions

There’s a good chance you’ll get a lot of similar questions from customers. Instead of writing responses from scratch every time, set up triggers that send out the required information when a “buzz word” is identified. For example, if someone uses the word “shipping” in their initial message, you can automate a response that details your shipping policies and links out to relevant pages on your site. 

3. Learn from feedback

SMS customer service offers a valuable opportunity to collect feedback. You get first-hand insights into customer pain points, common questions, and major frustrations. Use this data to improve your products and processes so that fewer customers need support in the future. As well as listening to customers via text, you can also use it as a channel for generating feedback and reviews by sending post-purchase check-ins and review requests. 

4. Send quick responses

Customers expect speedy SMS responses–there’s a reason they’re not calling you up to wait on hold for 45 minutes or filling out a customer support form that will “get back to them in 48 hours”. In fact, shoppers expect you to respond to a live chat in under a minute - the quicker the better. 

5. Keep it short and sweet

Texts are not the same as emails. With the latter, you have the chance to incorporate more copy, go into detail, and add multimedia elements. With text messages, you have a much smaller space to get your message across and the formatting tends to be the same across devices. Keep your texts short and sweet, and keep your tone casual too. The channel lends itself to informal, quickfire conversations.

Add SMS as a customer service channel

Customer service is crucial, and having a direct line to your customer’s handheld devices is hugely beneficial for creating a frictionless buying process and increasing trust. As a result, SMS customer service provides a great way to open up conversations with your customers, personalize their support experience, and help them solve unique problems in the moment. 

Kick-off your SMS strategy with the help of our SMS marketing starter pack.

Are you all CAC and no win back?

Start building sticky customers today with:

Customer feedback

Flexible subscription management

Intelligent replenishments & cross-sells

"The results have been staggering. Blueprint has massively increased our LTV."
Donald Mendenhall
Are you all CAC and no win back?

Start building sticky customers today with:

Customer feedback

Flexible subscription management

Intelligent replenishments & cross-sells

"The results have been staggering. Blueprint has massively increased our LTV."
Donald Mendenhall
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