Customer service is the backbone of any outstanding financial institution. Negative customer experiences can have severe consequences on the longevity of a financial service provider. The best way to field customer service-related issues is by developing a team of experts who have access to top-rated customer service tools and are well attuned to a client’s unique needs. These teams are the first, and often the last, interaction a customer has with an institution when a problem arises.
Sadly, many financial institutions routinely face customer service difficulties. An ill-equipped service team leads to burnout, unhappy customers, and low retention rates. In 2020, 40% of consumers stopped doing business with an organization over a negative customer service experience (Source). These numbers are troublesome. Still, the good news is that implementing an SMS solution into customer service workflows can resolve these problems while elevating the customer experience. SMS empowered service teams deliver competent support, strive to provide convenient solutions, understand and anticipate needs, and proactively serve customers.
SMS aids in the four critical principles of excellent customer service:
1. Provide competent support.
Customers expect high levels of support from the financial institutions they’ve entrusted to help meet their financial goals. 81% of customers in this study find that service routinely falls below expectations. Add SMS to your solution toolbox to build confidence in your financial service team while delivering a seamless service experience and consistent brand voice.
Give your service agents a strong brand voice by building a library of templates for initiating and ending conversations, addressing routine issues, and maneuvering escalated situations. Customer service through SMS gives customer service teams a powerful voice that builds loyalty and extends your financial institution’s brand.
From escalations to shift changes, case transfers are inevitable at times. SMS can seamlessly hand the case off to the next service agent without a change in care or delay. A top complaint among customers is repeatedly explaining an issue. With Solution by Text’s SMS software, the entire team can access prior communications and follow the current service journey without the customer filling in the new agent.
2. Deliver convenience.
When customers have a problem, the last thing they need to worry about is tracking down a service number or getting lost in a queue. Customer service teams that rely on call centers, online chat, and email support run the risk of long wait times, lost service tickets, and frustrated clients. Financial service providers routinely work with clients in high-stress situations and need tools that address the issue quickly and are convenient for the customer.
SMS customer service is available anytime, anywhere, making it convenient for customers and financial institutions. Fast delivery times, high open rates, and customer preference makes SMS one of the most helpful customer service tools available. Messages arrive in seconds, and customers can respond in real-time with an agent using Two-Way Texting.
Mobile phones have become a must-carry item over the last decade, and by 2025 there will be nearly 312 million smartphone users in America (Source). SMS allows the institution and customer flexibility to communicate on their schedule without intrusion. Clients can continue with their day while waiting for a response, service agents can assist multiple customers, and communications are not time-restricted like many online chat features.
3. Personalize the experience.
Marketers know that personalization is a highly effective customer engagement tool that catches attention and develops loyalty. 71% of customers are frustrated when an experience is not personalized to their history, needs, and preferences. The same thought applies to customer service, but on a deeper level. Personalization is the human element that shows customers that they are heard, understood, and seen. The financial sector must utilize personalization when handling the complicated and sensitive nature of many customer service claims.
The conversational nature of SMS makes it one of the most effective channels for personalized communication. Personalization can take various forms in SMS, and a great place to start is by addressing the client by name. The Solutions by Text software allows you to review previous communications, analyze message metrics, and track what actions a client took at an earlier experience. These data sets are valuable assets for your service agent when resolving issues facing the client. Your financial institution has the power to set the tone, ease customer tensions, and reassure their initial decision to partner with your firm.
4. Proactively reach customers.
Instead of running customer service defense and fielding one customer-initiated inquiry to the next, financial institutions have an opportunity to anticipate problems and proactively communicate solutions to customers before they arise. SMS gives lenders the power to reach out to customers instantly with alerts, account changes, reminders, bill pay, and loan application status updates.
Customers want financial service providers to communicate with them regarding their accounts actively. Service agents can keep customers informed about statuses before it becomes a significant issue, from platform service outages to fraud alerts. 42% of millennials surveyed in this study said they would prefer to receive SMS fraud alerts, but only 19% receive them from their financial institution (Source).
If your financial institution is not proactively reaching out to customers regarding their accounts, you are missing an opportunity to build trust and mitigate future issues. Set up your financial institution for customer service excellence by finding ways to proactively communicate issues that could cause difficulty and delay to customers.
The financial services sales team brings a customer into the fold of your institution, but it’s the customer service team that nurtures that relationship. Equipping your service team with the right tools, knowledge, and systems is vital. SMS is a workhorse solution that can elevate the customer experience and strengthen a customer’s loyalty to the institution. Build the trust of your customer base with the convenient and conversational experience only found through SMS.