5 Tips for Personalizing the Customer Experience with SMS Auto Replies

Robot hand holding a phone to indicate an SMS auto reply

An SMS auto reply can do a lot of heavy lifting for you. It can greet customers, gather their information, let them know when they can expect replies, and even resolve simple queries. But how can you ensure customers are still having personalized experiences with auto replies? 

With help from a texting service for business, it’s easy to customize auto replies and make them sound personable. In fact, with the right tools and tips, customers will feel like each and every one of your texts came from a person who knows them well. 

Let’s dive in. 

Tip #1: Use Custom Fields 

If customers have already opted in to your SMS services and interacted with your team before, they expect your brand to know a little bit about them. Custom fields are a great way to let them know that you’re aware of how they’ve engaged with your brand in the past. 

To personalize SMS automated replies, leave space for custom fields in your SMS templates. When your texting service for business sends an auto reply, it’ll insert the appropriate custom field information into each message. Depending on the auto replies you send, consider including:

  • First names
  • Order numbers 
  • Loyalty statuses
  • Local store locations

Adding these details into SMS automated replies ensures that customers know you’re dedicated to a long-term relationship with them. 

Tip #2: Write In a Casual Tone 

Your auto replies should sound like they’re from a person who wrote them only moments before. One of the best ways to create this appearance is by writing your SMS templates in a casual tone.

When you create your SMS templates, ensure you sound like you’re talking to a new neighbor. Your SMS templates should use:

  • Simple, clear wording (e.g., “Let’s start your return!” instead of “Let us begin the return process.”)
  • Vivid punctuation (e.g., the occasional exclamation mark)
  • Emojis and GIFs when appropriate (e.g., a snowflake at the end of an auto reply about holiday hours)

You can still sound professional when you text with casual language. Use polite phrases like “thank you” and “you’re welcome” throughout, and avoid popular acronyms. These human touches go a long way to make customers feel like they’re receiving personal attention. 

Tip #3: Include an SMS Signature or Introduction

An SMS signature is a powerful thing. It quickly lets your customers know who they’re talking with. More importantly, it lets them know that there’s a person on the other side of the conversation. You can and should use signatures for auto replies. 

An auto reply with an SMS signature or introduction may look like one of the following examples: 

Hey there, {{first name}}! How can I help you? —Tim, Swift Shoes Customer Care 👟 Text STOP to unsubscribe. 

Hello, you’ve reached James & Smith LLC client care. Our President’s Day hours are 9am-5pm. Text STOP to stop receiving texts.

Hi, {{first name}}! This is Amy with Pearl and Star Clothing’s Customer Service Team. Let’s get that return started! What’s the order number? Text STOP to unsubscribe. 

Letting customers know who they’ve reached is a great way to start a conversation. Customers will feel comfortable continuing their chat, especially if they know a specific agent is going to reply when they start explaining their queries. 

Tip #4: Tailor SMS Auto Replies to Multiple Situations

You should almost certainly have more than one SMS auto reply. The more auto replies you create, the more specifically you can tailor them to customer queries. 

The SMS auto replies you create will depend on your business and the team(s) who are using business SMS to connect with customers. Popular SMS auto replies include:

  • During-hours responses 
  • After-hours responses 
  • Holiday responders
  • FAQ responses 
  • General query acknowledgements and greetings

Having multiple SMS auto replies lets you tailor each text to the relevant situation. When customers text in with their various questions, they’ll feel reassured that you’re working on solving their query.

Tip #5: Always Offer the Possibility of Chatting with a Live Agent

Sending SMS auto replies is a great way to save time while still offering a stellar customer experience. However, it’s critical that you offer the possibility of chatting with a live agent in case customers need additional help. 

To ensure your SMS auto replies never mislead customers, be sure to:

  • Send after-hours responses only if there are no live agents available to take over conversations
  • Use agent SMS signatures only if there’s an agent ready to take over the conversation
  • Prioritize answering customer messages during business hours

You can build trust—and boost customer satisfaction—by ensuring that customers can get in touch with a real person if they need to.  

 

Want to learn more about SMS auto replies? Check out our blog.

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