sms for customer service

A Guide to SMS For Customer Service: Benefits, Templates, And Best Practices

SMS for customer service: why is it important? For starters, did you know that over 3 billion people worldwide use text messaging services?

From payment reminders to order confirmations, more and more communications between companies and their customers now take place via SMS text messaging.

Consumers want customer service to be convenient, simple, and personalized, and text messaging is the perfect tool to meet consumers’ needs.

Adopting conversational messaging as part of a customer service strategy allows businesses to provide good, proactive customer service that meets customers’ needs. This ultimately helps develop brand loyalty, boost CSAT scores, and ultimately grow revenue.

What is SMS customer service?

SMS (Simple Messaging Service) is self-explanatory. It is a short, simple text message and a standard feature of all mobile communications.

Despite the rise of new communication channels and use of social media on mobile phones, SMS is still popular. In fact, research from Infobip shows that SMS use rose 75% in 2022 compared to 2021. It’s easy to understand why this has become an attractive means of communication between businesses and their customers.

SMS customer service offers customer support via SMS messaging. It’s all done via the text message app on a customer’s phone without the need for face-to-face or verbal communication.

The main draw of text messaging is it is conversational. It is easy to make communications personalized and meet the needs of modern customers. It adds a human touch to customer service. Consumers want to feel like they are talking to a person, not AI.

One way to send SMS for customer service is using a virtual phone number, which lets you use text messaging over the internet rather than from a physical phone. You can also send text messages over the computer using platforms like Google Messages, send a text via email, or use a dedicated SMS platform for businesses.

The Benefits of SMS Customer Service

Being in business is about being proactive and planning ahead. Chances are you and your teams have already run a compliance risk, cybersecurity risk, and maybe even a climate change risk. These are just some of the risk assessment matrix examples that benefit businesses that want to be better prepared for the future. 

In a similar way, it’s important to think about how to adapt your customer service strategy to meet current trends and future demands. SMS support is a brilliant strategy for reaching a large audience but in a way that’s convenient and personal to your customers.

Let’s explore some of the key benefits of SMS customer service in more depth.


Text messaging is quick and concise. No one wants to read a formal and lengthy email when they want a simple answer to a simple question. Anyone with a mobile phone can type out a quick message within minutes, and they don’t require a broadband connection.

SMS text messages also allow the resolution of multiple customer inquiries at once. How often do customers forget to return to the webchat only to find they must start over again?

Text messaging has no time limit, and a thread can easily pick up again if an operative or customer must step away for a time. Operators can also connect with multiple customers at once rather than one at a time.

Personalized responses

Text messages have a more friendly tone, allowing you to chat on a first-name basis and answer questions promptly.

While customer service agents still need to maintain professionalism in their written skills, they can adopt a less formal tone using text messages and even include emojis or common text abbreviations.

Via text messages, customers can also send images or videos to help the agents resolve their issues.

SMS saves resources

SMS customer service saves time and money for both the business and its customers.

With SMS, customers don’t need to wait on hold. They can type out a quick message and receive a reply within minutes. Text messaging is a cheaper option than a phone call, and forms part of any cloud business phone system.

Don’t forget, there will always be a need for human contact, and you should always offer that option, but why pay for an expensive operative to handle the simple stuff? Perhaps a customer is having difficulty finding a button on your user app. Do they want to make a phone call or wait in the queue only to ask a simple question with a short answer? 

It’s much cheaper and less time-consuming to set up automated text responses for frequently asked questions.

Quick responses

Customers expect prompt response times, and automated chatbots can reply instantly. It’s as simple as that, and it is a vital element of customer service.

Customer feedback

People are more likely to respond and engage with a text message requesting feedback than other forms of communication.

It’s easy to send a text message with a link to an online survey and gain valuable feedback. These can even be used internally.

For example, if you wish to evaluate your on demand remote support software, you could send a text message to your employees with a link to a survey. It will help evaluate their current ability to work from home and discover what resources you need to provide to ensure they can do their job away from the office.

Proactive marketing

One of the main benefits of SMS customer service is it makes it easier for businesses to be proactive. Text messaging allows you to send communications directly into a customer’s hand.

Text messages about sales and promos can be effortlessly sent to increase sales. For example, Domino’s Pizza sends messages during a sporting event regarding purchasing a pizza—ready to be delivered at half-time.

SMS Templates for customer service

Get the message right. We want personalized and conversational, but a text message should always be professional and polite. Balance is important.

Here are some examples of the most common SMS customer service messages:

1. Introductions

It’s fundamental to create a great first impression. When customers make their first purchase or contact, you should send them an introductory message to help establish a good foundation for your future relationship.

Hi, {first_name}! Welcome to {business_name}. We’re delighted to have you with us. How did you like your {item_name}? Text HELP to (123) 456–7890 if you have any issues.

2. Lead generation

Customers may want more information about a product they saw on your website. A quick and easy way to get in touch is to include a keyword, they can text to you. When they text that keyword all the information they may require about that product appears in a prompt reply.

Hi there! Thanks for checking out our website. Here’s a {link} with more information. If you need anything further text HELP to HELP to (123) 456–7890.

3. Follow-up messages

Always follow up on a customer’s request whether or not they took action. This also allows you to gain valuable feedback, plus it helps the customer feel valued.

Hi, {first_name}! How did you like our service? Is there anything you need more help with? Let me know 😊

 4. Reminders

Reminders help to avoid lost business. SMS text messages are the most convenient way to remind customers about their upcoming appointments, when payments are due, or any events they previously showed interest in.

Hi, {first_name}! You asked us to send payment reminders every month. So here we are at your service. 😁
Your next payment is due in 3 days.

5. Confirmations

Immediate confirmation of action helps reassure the customer that everything is complete.

Hi, {first_name}! Your refund for the {item_name} has been initiated. The amount will reflect in your bank account in 3-4 business days. 

6. Offers and promotions

Everyone likes to know when they can purchase discounted products.

Hi, {first_name}! Sale now on! Get 50% of our range for a limited time only! Visit our {website} and see what you could save.  

Best Practices for Effective SMS Customer Service

1. Use the same phone number

Keep it simple by using a cloud PBX solution to text from the same number you use for all your customer service contacts.

Once you’ve set this up, let the customer know they can use it for text messaging wherever you display your available contact channels like your website, receipts, invoices, and social media.

You may need to review your user adoption strategy to help promote the new service to users, but it is a waste of time setting the service up if customers don’t know it’s available.

2. Use autoresponders

Chatbots can respond immediately, which is one of the most important features of great customer support.

Set up your chatbot so it can answer the most frequently asked questions and free up human operatives for the more complicated questions.

3. Be consistent

Your customer service experience should be consistent across all channels.

Combine your CRM systems to incorporate your SMS messaging strategy and ensure a customer gets the same response via text message as they would via your web chat, telephone call, or social media.

4. Personalize communication

To develop and maintain brand loyalty, you need to ensure your customers experience a seamless service that makes them feel the message was written for them alone.

Allow your SMS strategy to enable bots and operatives to access additional information to help them tailor communications for individual customers.

Don’t forget to keep it conversational in a short, simple, and friendly text message, and you can use emojis.

5. Always offer the human option

There are several SMS chatbot advantages, but sometimes only a real person can resolve the problem, and some people prefer to speak to an operative rather than a bot.

At every stage, offer customers the option to speak to an operative. They should be able to access the previous contact and pick up the case without asking the customer to repeat themselves. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to explain a complex issue like LTS security for a second or third time.

6. Offer a way to opt out

No one wants to say goodbye to customers, but you should always offer them the freedom to opt out of receiving text messages. By providing this legal and ethical option, you are demonstrating good practice. No one wants messages forced upon them.

Let’s wrap it up

Why would you not join the 55% of businesses already using SMS as part of their customer service strategy?

SMS customer service strategies enable companies to communicate with their customers quickly, simply, but cost-effectively.

Plus, customers want to receive communications directly to their phones because it’s convenient and personalized.Whether you’re blitzscaling for rapid growth or merely want to adapt to meet your customer’s needs, the SMS customer service strategy will help you improve customer experience, build brand loyalty, and as a result, increase revenues.