5 Tips for Your Automated Text Service

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As savvy businesses start using more advanced technology, key tools like automations are becoming more popular. Today, 49% of all companies and 55% of B2B companies are using automations to streamline tasks in sales, customer support, and marketing departments. Among the most popular of these innovations is the automated text service.

For both internal and customer-facing departments, an automated texting service empowers employees to create seamless workflows that boost customer satisfaction and customer engagement. Automations can help with a wide variety of tasks, from sending real-time, personalized texts en masse to routing incoming messages to appropriate agents based on keywords. Each automation, if set up correctly, speeds up a business’s texting service, getting replies to customers faster than ever before.

Ready to create or improve your automated text service? Let’s dive in. 

Want to learn more about using automations to streamline your workflows? Read our ebook Automated Text Messaging: The Complete Guide

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Automated Text Service Tip #1: Think Small at First

When deciding which tasks to automate, it’s critical that you tackle the most simple tasks first. Automating the smallest tasks before more complex tasks empowers you to understand how automations work—while showing you how much time even the smallest automation can save your employees. This is where robust reporting comes in handy.

Consider the small, repetitive tasks that you and teammates complete via business SMS each day, and determine how you might automate them. These include:

Sending appointment, order, or delivery notifications

Business texting platforms allow teams to create notification templates that can be customized and sent to large lists in a single click. These can be scheduled to be sent at a future date and time as well.

Scheduling, confirming or rescheduling appointments

Teams can set up automatic initial replies to frequently received text messages, such as appointment rescheduling requests. The automated texting service will recognize a keyword, like “RESCHEDULE,” and respond with a basic message asking for availability.

Letting customers know about your response time or hours of operation

When customers text while your team is busy or after hours, it’s important that they receive a response right away so they know your team will answer soon. An automated text message service can immediately send a reply listing this basic information.

Automated Text Service Tip #2: Consider the Big Stuff

Automated texting services can do a lot more than just those simple tasks. A business texting platform can even complete multi-step automations or recognize complex triggers if need be, freeing up even more valuable employee time. 

Confirming opt-ins

Teams can set up automations that recognize keywords and trigger automated responses. When it comes to opt-ins, your automated texting service should be able to identify a key phrase, like “SUBSCRIBE,” add the customer to a list, like “New Opt Ins,” and send a quick confirmation text in reply. 

Routing incoming messages

With an automated text message service, your business texting platform can direct messages containing specific keywords to relevant agents. For example, a text containing the word “error” can be directed toward a product specialist, while a text containing the word “schedule” can be directed toward the schedule coordinator.

SMS drip campaigns

Often considered a marketing-only tool, SMS drip campaigns can be used for a wide variety of customer service, marketing, and sales tasks. These include everything from feedback requests to appointment reminders. Like email-based drip campaigns, SMS drip campaigns allow teams to choose the number of messages sent and the specific templates for each round. The campaigns can automatically remove customers who reply with an opt-out message, or redirect customers who reply with a question. 

Automated Text Service Tip #3: Focus on Simplicity

In general, when your team is deciding where and how to automate, it makes sense to streamline only the small or medium-sized tasks that consume a lot of employee time. Any tasks that require one-on-one customer resolution should be done directly through employees, so that customers don’t feel as though they are conversing with a bot. 

For example, employees should directly manage:

  • Incoming customer queries, such as product questions or order-related requests
  • Customer support problems, such as product technical support
  • Question and answer forums

By managing these key processes with a little assistance from automations, employees can be sure that customers feel that personal touch—but still receive fast service overall. 

Automated Text Service Tip #4: Add Some Personality

As we mentioned above, customers aren’t big fans of bots. It can be frustrating to think that a business has relegated your question to a machine. Ensuring only simple tasks are relegated to automations can help customers feel like they are getting enough human contact, but there’s another way to emphasize your business’s personal touch: adding some personality to your automated text service. 

While the tone of your automated messages should be professional, businesses with younger audiences or casual cultures should feel free to insert some personality into their templated replies. The following are three examples of such templated messages, ranging from opt-in confirmations to after-hours replies. 

Hello {{first name}}, thank you for opting into Sunshine Pizza’s texting services! 🍕Reply with STOP to unsubscribe. 

Hi there, thanks for reaching out to Gina’s Tropical Vacations! We’ve left the office for the day to hit the waves, but we’ll get back to you during business hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm PST. Reply S to unsubscribe.

Hello {{first name}}, this is South Coast Dental. Don’t forget your appointment on {{appointment date}} at our {{office location}} location! Reply C to confirm. 🦷

Automated Text Service Tip #5: Deliver Value

At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of your automated text service is to deliver immediate value to customers. While you want to streamline your employee’s workflows too, so they can focus on complex tasks, don’t let your original purpose leave your sight. 

Routinely review your automated text message service, ensuring that each automation contributes to customer satisfaction. After implementing a new automation, it may make sense to reach out to customers and ask for their feedback, just to ensure that the automation is really making your SMS service better for everyone, and not just easier for your teams.

Want a step-by-step look at building text automations to expedite every area of your business? Read our ebook Automated Text Messaging: The Complete Guide.

Ebook cover: SMS Automations, The Complete Guide

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