Even though there are dozens of other options, call-based customer communications are popular. Many businesses still have call-only customer service centers and office numbers. But as messaging becomes more and more popular, the tide’s changing. In fact, 89% of today’s consumers would like to be able to message companies through business SMS. Now, you may be asking: is business SMS better than phone calls?
Compared to phone calls, business SMS is by far the more versatile, agile choice. Business texting solutions accept all messages, whether they’re from native SMS apps or over-the-top (OTT) apps like Facebook Messenger. Each message arrives in a single shared inbox. As a central hub for all of your messaging needs, a business SMS platform helps your teams make the most of messaging’s natural advantages—speed and convenience.
Let’s explore 5 things business SMS excels at over phone calls, so we can answer the question: is business SMS better than phone calls?
Customers often have quick questions about their orders or your operations. If they call in with these questions, they will likely have to navigate an interactive voice response (IVR) and wait in your phone queue. Your agents will then need to focus on each call individually for several minutes or longer. This can frustrate customers and consume a lot of your resources. In fact, it’s estimated that businesses spend $1.3 trillion on 265 billion customer service calls each year. Business SMS is a far faster (and less expensive) solution.
Customers can quickly text in with questions about:
- Order statuses
- Opening hours
- Pick up or delivery options
- Inventory checks
Each incoming message arrives in your business’s shared inbox, where team members can open and answer them. They can even work on multiple chats at once, opening one message while another customer looks up their order number.
Business SMS is a more convenient channel than phone calls for quick service queries, allowing your team to answer more quick queries faster than ever before.
Appointment Scheduling and Confirmations
Many service-based businesses manage appointment scheduling over the phone. They call each customer to remind them about upcoming appointments and reschedule over the phone as well. When customers answer the phone—which is less often than schedulers would like—they sometimes don’t have their schedules on hand and have to call back. This is an inefficient process.
Teams can manage all types of scheduling queries via business SMS, including:
- Initial scheduling
- Date/time confirmations
- Appointment reminders
Customers can quickly text in with scheduling requests, coordinating with your team within minutes to find suitable time slots. As soon your team has secured a good time, they can schedule a reminder for a day or so ahead of the appointment. Customers can easily reply at that time to reschedule if they need to.
Business SMS is a powerful channel for fast appointment scheduling, allowing your teams to spend less time making calls and more time providing a personalized experience during the appointments themselves.
Even if business texting solutions do it better, phone calls can be used for customer service queries, like quick queries and appointment scheduling. But phone calls are almost completely off limits for key marketing tasks, like encouraging customer engagement.
Your business can easily use business SMS to send:
- Product tips
- Industry fun facts
- Invitations to regular trivia or games
These SMS customer engagement tools are more likely to be well received through business SMS than a phone call. Customers can quickly read a product tip or even text a reply to a trivia question. They may be less amenable to a trivia question over the phone that interrupts their busy day.
Business SMS is truly versatile, allowing your teams to manage both customer service and engagement within the same channel.
If you run a small business and have strong ties with your customers, it’s possible that you may feel comfortable sharing a store update via the phone. For example, if your hair salon is moving locations, you may want to call each of your clients to let them know. But in many cases, it’s more appropriate—and less time consuming—to send a message.
Your team can use business SMS to send:
- Operational changes (e.g., new hours)
- Safety updates (e.g., new safety protocols)
- Seasonal wishes (e.g., “Happy Thanksgiving! We’ll be open again tomorrow.”)
Customers are sure to open your texts, since they have an average open rate of 98%. They can quickly open them when they have time, read them, and reply with any questions. Plus, your business texting solution makes it easy to send an entire group of customers a personalized message. You simply choose or create a template (leaving space for custom fields), select a list of recipients, and press send. Your business SMS platform will use merge tokens to insert custom fields information into each individual text.
A business texting solution is a great way to send out important information quickly—and ensure customers will actually read it.
It’s not uncommon for businesses, especially smaller businesses, to call customers asking for feedback. But in many cases, businesses may be asked to call back later or be given hurried answers. Plus, it takes a long time for agents to call every single customer individually.
Your team can use a business texting solution to:
- Text customers with feedback requests
- Create SMS drip campaigns for feedback requests
- Reply to any questions immediately
Customers are far more likely to answer feedback requests on their own time. If you text them, they may choose to reply later in the day, when they’re not busy. Plus, they’re sure to at least see your message due to the high open rate.
When it comes to business texting vs phone calls and sending feedback requests, business SMS takes the cake.
Want to learn more about business SMS or business SMS vs phone calls? Check out our blog.