Back to all blog posts
SMS Customer Service Industry Field Guide
SMS Marketing Best Practices

SMS Customer Service Industry Field Guide

SMS offers customer service an additional, personal avenue to engage with customers directly and delight them with personalized experiences.

March 16, 2022

How SMS Supports Personalized Customer Service in eCommerce and Beyond, with Hospitality, Financial Services, Healthcare and Nonprofits

Text messaging is a vital part of daily communication, offering instant and direct connection with little effort. Businesses recognize the opportunities that text messaging provides, and many eCommerce and direct-to-consumer brands already integrate it into their marketing strategy to enhance their customer experience. SMS (short message service) offers customer service an additional, personal avenue to engage with customers directly and delight them with personalized experiences.

SMS Customer Service Personalization Is Your Key to Brand Growth

Personalized customer engagement increases customer satisfaction and makes people feel more valued. Adding SMS gives customers a personalized experience more suited to their preferences. With SMS marketing emerging as the preferred medium for consumers where brand and service updates are concerned, personalization becomes even more important in creating stronger bonds between customers and companies.

Why Customer Service Matters

Customer service is now at the core of business growth. Companies that want to build customer loyalty need to engage their customer base and give them positive brand experiences: the better the customer service, the more positive the customer experience.

Competition is stiff. Delivering quality products doesn't automatically guarantee brand loyalty or repeat customers. Customers return because of their overall positive experience with your brand, from the moment they were introduced to your brand to when they purchased and used your product, and every brand interaction in between. Quality customer service not only creates clients, but turns them into unofficial brand ambassadors that help businesses grow.

Companies are always looking to scale customer service through automation. However, a drawback of relying solely on automated customer service is the lack of human touch that most customers look for. Personalization in customer service puts clients as the focus of a business, which improves their customer experience and inspires loyalty.

A brand’s customer lifetime value (CLV) can drive growth, but it’s customer service that can expand it. CLV is the total worth of a customer to a business or organization during the entire time of the brand-customer relationship. CLV depends on how much a customer has spent on a brand or service from the start to the present. Loyal and repeat customers have higher CLV than one-time buyers. A major way for an organization to build up the CLV of its target market is to increase customer satisfaction through customer service.

A customer service SMS platform can help build CLV. SMS can provide automated messages that connect customers and brands by personalizing conversations through conversational commerce. With SMS, a customer can receive excellent customer service through one-on-one interactions with a brand representative without having to switch platforms and positively impacts the customer's experience. 

Industries Successfully Expanding SMS Customer Service Texting Communications

Many industries rely on customer engagement to build long-lasting relationships. These industries now recognize the value of SMS as part of their customer service strategy since adding an SMS platform makes services quicker and more accessible. Some of the industries that could benefit from customer service texting strategy include:

Retail and eCommerce

The retail and eCommerce industries have grown rapidly despite the pandemic. UN economists reported that global eCommerce sales increased from 16% to 19%, reaching $26.7 trillion in 2019. eCommerce is expected to be bigger and better than ever before, with the latest surveys revealing how the pandemic changed the behavior and habits of consumers.

SMS marketing has made eCommerce the champion of customer service technology. It’s now extensively used to reach a brand’s customer base in the easiest way possible: through their mobile phones. Many retail and eCommerce companies use SMS communications to promote new products or services, inform loyal customers of sales or special events, and provide customer service through two-way conversations with clients. 

Successful retail and eCommerce brands are taking their SMS customer service to the next level with SMS support integrations, proactive customer service outreach campaigns, and automated responses for frequently asked questions. 

Banking and Financial Services

Banks are adopting the use of SMS customer service for providing information and securing customer transactions. Online banking makes SMS crucial for the industry and also helps add a level of security with the requirement of one-time passwords (OTP) and double authentication coordination during a transaction. 

Along with increased security, SMS customer service offers banks and financial organizations opportunities to personalize direct outreach for proactive customer reminders and garner insights for further improving your services with survey requests. 

As a trusted financial institution, customers are more likely to interact with customer service text messages when thoughtfully delivered based on their recent interactions, so consider crafting your automated SMS campaigns based on behaviors to deliver expected engagements. 

Travel and Hospitality

Industries inherently focused on delighting customers, travel and hospitality companies are successfully using SMS as part of their customer communication to provide 360-degree customer service. 

Besides text messaging for airfare and room discount rates, itinerary reminders, reservation updates, schedule arrangements, booking confirmations, and offers to purchase additional services, new SMS customer service trends include detailed proactive trip recommendations. 

SMS customer service has also expanded to include trip recommendations, dining suggestions, and reminders for guests of available amenities. The drive for the industry has always been to delight their clients, and SMS is a way to give guests an amazing experience.

Healthcare and Beauty

Healthcare, wellness, and beauty services are the most personal of services. Incorporating SMS customer service for these industries has largely been used for appointment reminders and schedule management, helping to get these priority messages directly to clients without having to shuffle through email inboxes or rely on phone calls.

The natural progression of SMS customer service within healthcare and beauty services is using SMS for extended customer delight with follow-up surveys to connect on aftercare and hear how providers can continue improving experiences. SMS customer service is also able to provide diagnostic information and prescription reminders, further making critical correspondence more accessible. SMS adds more care into healthcare services, focusing on patient and client experience.

Nonprofit Organizations (NGOs)

Engagement is critical for nonprofit organizations, as they rely on volunteers and social awareness to drive their causes. Although not always steadily adopted, NGO SMS customer service strategies have been successful in helping to inform their leads of fund-raising activities and provide updates on current issues and causes.  

Depending on the maturity of the organization, NGOs can boost their customer service engagement with SMS campaigns focused on donor acquisition and nurturing. Campaigns like donation confirmations are helpful personalized texts for sharing final fundraise amounts, as well as helpful follow-up engagement. Thank you campaigns with personalized messaging on what their donation will support, and ways to share their cause help foster community and encourage sharing with their networks.

SMS Customer Service Benefits and Examples

SMS customer service has many benefits to customer engagement and the growth of your customer base.

Timely and Personal 

SMS messages are more timely and personalized, as they are simple to craft and get in the literal hands of your audience. SMS has the advantage of one-on-one communication, helping customers not only feel the human connection with your brand or organization but be delighted with their experiences.

Save Time

Time is valuable for any business. SMS helps businesses disseminate information to a larger audience faster and respond promptly to customer queries. SMS also gives businesses the chance to reach out to a large percentage, if not the entire customer base, simultaneously with automation. 

Automation for Behavioral Triggers and Scheduled Messages

Automation has many benefits, including improving an organization's customer service through behavioral triggered messages and scheduled workflows. Interacting with customers after they take specific actions ensures you close the loop on their experience in a positive way. 

Crafting well-timed automated workflows specifically for customer service interactions will set your brand apart from your competition with this attention to detail, creating further personal connections with your customer.

Autoresponders for Instant Action

Using SMS autoresponders, customer service teams can instantly reply to customers’ frequently asked questions. These question-and-answer topics can cover everything from subscriptions, discounts and promos, to standard pre-and post-appointment recommendations, as well as how-to’s for loyalty programs or common app functions. 

Think of autoresponders as a tool to expand your customer service offering by anticipating the needs of your customers and providing branded experiences when they have a commonly asked question.

Proactive Alerts and Reminders

For many industries, scheduled appointment reminders are table stakes for customer service communications. But personalized, direct SMS functionality can help companies be proactive with text message alerts and updates. 

Customers can be reminded of impending deadlines, notified when subscription renewal is approaching, or when refills are low. Brands and organizations can use SMS messages for thoughtful urgency nudges — like your mom would send you a friendly reminder for your upcoming family party. 

Receive Feedback

Getting customer and user feedback helps brands and organizations evolve and deliver better customer service. SMS customer service outreach after interactions breaks down the barrier to these customer insights by sharing simple polls and surveys directly to the user. Businesses are more likely to receive instant feedback about their services and further elevate their customer experiences.

Collect Reviews

Close the loop and use customer feedback to further boost your brand experience and services. Businesses can automate review requests into their customer service SMS feedback responders and campaigns. 

For example, Voyage can be integrated with Junip to trigger review requests and build customized segments using new reviews. Junip also informs you when a customer leaves a review,  providing companies with timely feedback and allowing an immediate response.

SMS Customer Service Integrations 

SMS marketing cultivates customer relationships and scales your customer base through personalized customer service experiences. Voyage SMS offers brands and organizations a full suite of services to ensure maximized channel optimization including:

  • Foundational to expert strategies to optimize your specific customer service engagements
  • Expanded manage services support to drive new campaigns
  • Creative and development services to plug talent pipelines for quick ramp-up

🧭 Chart your SMS journey with Voyage Compass

Along with strategic partnerships, the Voyage SMS platform offers leading SMS customer service integrations to give your customers another powerful support channel and synchronize the data from customer service platforms.

Zendesk Integration: Seamless Engagement

Zendesk helps businesses handle customer support services, great for eCommerce and any industry looking to delight their customers and contacts.

Voyage and Zendesk integration allow business-customer communication through SMS. Users can send queries to the same number used for sending text messages for seamless engagement. Zendesk includes a knowledge database that allows users to add their own FAQ regarding a product.

Gorgias Integration: Personalize Your Customer Support

Gorgias can be integrated with other eCommerce apps, so users can complete the customer journey without leaving the app. Integrating Gorgias with other systems supports agents and businesses in delivering seamless customer support.

Voyage and Gorgias integration allow customers to use SMS to communicate directly with a business. It allows clients and companies to interact in real-time. allowing users to comment on posts and ads on social media accounts, or help with queries through live chat or email.

With these integrations you can:

  • Make a top impression with your consumers directly through text message conversations.
  • Select a keyword of your choice for customers to text to open a support ticket 
  • Reply to these support tickets directly in your customer service tool which sends an SMS to the consumer on the same phone number they receive marketing messages

Final Thought

Quality customer service not only creates clients, but also turns them into unofficial brand ambassadors that help businesses grow. Combining the personalization of SMS with your customer service will amplify your brand experience and scale your business and overall CLV. 

If you’re ready to add human connection to customer service engagements, increase conversion rates across your customer journey, and turn one-time buyers into repeat ones, schedule a demo today. Then get a free month of messages on us.
get updates to your inbox

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Never miss an update from Voyage. We'll send you the latest and greatest in SMS marketing, message commerce, and more.

Thank you! You are now subscribed!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to our terms and that you have read our Privacy Policy.