When you hear the word “texting” do you immediately picture teenagers glued to a tiny screen in the mall? This is not only an old-fashioned stereotype – it’s dangerous to your customer engagement strategies.
According to the Pew Research Center 97 percent of Americans use their phones to text on a daily basis. This includes every age, gender and economic class. As texting becomes the primary form of communication for everyone, customer care centers must be sure they not only include short message service solutions, they must offer unique support and engagements for text customers.
Quick and short answers
Consumers like text messages because they are short and fast. According to Venturebeat, the popularity of SMS as a support channel is directly related to customers tired of being put on hold or asked to repeat their problems numerous times. Consumers text when they want a quick solution to a problem.
This means customer care centers need customer experience management solutions and the staff necessary to respond to everyone who makes contact quickly. The answers also have to be brief and concise, so you need a knowledgeable staff who can provide solutions by getting straight to the point.
When the engagement is not settled by a few back and forth messages, it may be time to take the interaction to another channel. You shouldn’t force a platform on a consumer, instead you should offer multiple options and clearly indicate which channel is best for certain types of engagements.
Use empathetic phrases
Can your care agents demonstrate human compassion using just a few written words? It can be tricky to balance brevity with empathy. You don’t want to waste time with empty pleasantries, but you need to show investment in consumer happiness and understanding in some way.
The Customer Think blog suggested the words care agents use during engagement are essential. You shouldn’t add empathetic terms to answers when certain phrases can indicate both at the same time. Instead of you saying “You need to do this “, a care agent can try starting resolutions with “Let’s try this ” The latter indicates the two parties will work together, while the former can come off as a command.
It’s important a consumer care agent tracks the activities and results of all SMS engagements to see which words and phrases encouraged consumer openness and efficient resolutions.
Find the line between professional and casual
Your own company’s historical data should find the empathy solutions right for your brand. Text messaging has unique communication tools like abbreviations and emoticons. While most companies may see smiley phases and LOL’s as unprofessional, it could work for your brand if used tactfully.
Social media and entertainment sites are full of examples of great customer engagements that demonstrated personal care through slightly casual text interactions. The employee side of the conversations were always polite, effective and patient, but the care agents also knew when to throw in a emoticon that would make the customer happy. If your business can do this, it may receive positive public relations because audiences like to share these stories.