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5 Ways Service Businesses Can Use SMS for a Better Customer Experience

Think that SMS is too invasive to use in your business?

Think again!

According to Jeffrey Vocell, Principle Product Manager for the HubSpot Growth Platform, customers expect to be contacted by brands across 13 different channels, with a 10-minute response time. 

Why SMS Messaging for Customer Experience?

Nothing facilitates immediate communication and response time like texting a customer to give them updated information.

Before we begin, a word of caution…

There’s a thin line between helpful information and annoying a customer. When talking about customer experience, the customer is in control. They will not find it helpful if you text them every five minutes to tell them a technician is still stuck in traffic.

They probably aren’t interested in your daily deals, either. While sending special offers every month or quarter is acceptable with their permission, make sure they are on-board to receive occasional texts from you. If possible, very clearly define what “occasional” means so there’s no misunderstanding.

But don’t go overboard. And make sure you have their permission beforehand.

Software is available specifically for service-based businesses that allows two-way text messaging. Sending texts to your customer is wonderful, but a conversation involves two parties and can strengthen your relationship with your customers.

Don’t forget (as we mentioned above) that clients expect to be contacted via 13 different channels and receive a response within 10 minutes. Technology makes communication possible regardless of the device you’re using.

1. SMS for Scheduling Confirmation and Appointment Changes

Your customers are busy people. Between work, running errands during lunch and raising a family, they need convenient solutions. Digging out your phone number and hoping someone is available to provide an answer isn’t always convenient. 

If the original appointment time doesn’t work for them, they can text you and request to reschedule.

2. Let Customers Know You’re On Your Way With a Text

To ensure customers are available for a scheduled appointment, send them a text when the technician is en route. If traffic or another service call causes delays, automatically shoot them an SMS so they have an updated arrival time.

This avoids disrupting busy techs who may be dealing with another customer or stuck in traffic.

3. Build Trust With Your Service Technician’s Photo and Bio

Hiring a service technician can be stressful. Anyone can put on a uniform and knock on a customer’s door. Eliminate the guesswork involved with meeting a stranger by sending a pic and bio of the person who’s meeting the customer, especially for the first time. You’ll show the customer that their security and safety matter to your business.

4. Send Exclusive SMS Offers for Ongoing Maintenance

Maintenance contracts are often less expensive for customers over the course of the year, but they often taking the chance and eating a large repair bill later down the road. 

Offering an exclusive price for customers via SMS lower than your normal advertised rate, they can see how much they’ll save, especially if you point out how much their last repair bill was.

5. Give Them a Way to Opt-Out of SMS Marketing Messages

One of the biggest aspects of delivering a good customer experience is remembering that the customer is in complete control of how and when they hear from you. While it may not seem great for sales, allowing customers to opt-out of SMS, email or phone calls will make them appreciate you for not being so pushy and letting them decide when and how they need to communicate with you.

Start Sending SMS Messages and Improve Your Customer Experience

If you want to deliver the best possible experience for your customer’s adding additional ways to get in touch is the way to go. SMS is a great start.

There’s additional ways to speak to your customer beyond the telephone. Let them know you’re willing to adapt to whatever way works best for them. Excellent customer experiences come from service businesses like yours who are willing to be flexible to meet customer needs in a way that works well for both of you.

To manage your customer text communications, software that integrates with your dispatch and scheduling systems makes it easier than ever to provide fast solutions when you need them. The more efficient your system, the better your customer experience will be.

Matt Shealy

Matt Shealy

Matt Shealy is the President of ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

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