It wasn’t long after texting became commonplace that businesses began to use it to market their brand. Today many businesses big and small are using SMS as a marketing channel. But there is a more recent trend developing within the SMS channel. Businesses are finding new ways to use it that don’t involve marketing. Businesses are finding creative ways to use SMS to provide excellent customer service and to make customers lives easier. Here’s a look at a few of the unconventional ways businesses are using SMS, and using it effectively.

Customer service notifications

Rather than simply marketing products, SMS is a great way to provide your customers with excellent customer service. Using SMS to send customer service notifications is becoming a lot more common place. Businesses are using SMS to remind their customers about appointments rather than having to call them. Brands can notify customers when their orders are being shipped, and can provide updates via SMS as the package travels. They can also notify customers by text when their package has been delivered or when it’s ready for pick up at the store. These are just a few of the many ways brands are using SMS to provide customer service

Automated response

Another growing trend in SMS marketing is automated response. Customers can text their questions to a short code and receive an instant and appropriate response thanks to automated text response technology which can interpret and understand the customer’s question and choose the appropriate response. Common questions such as those regarding business hours and locations can be answered automatically freeing up your phone lines. It’s also convenient for customers, especially those without smartphones, who need information but prefer not to call on the phone or who are unable to get someone on the phone.

Still a great marketing channel

Of course, these new trends in the SMS channel don’t mean that SMS marketing is decreasing in popularity. SMS is still one of the best marketing channels out there. Many of the brands that are finding ways to use the SMS channel for customer service are also using it in more traditional ways to market their brand.

Because many of your customers may welcome the idea of SMS customer service but don’t like the idea of receiving advertisements via SMS, brands might want to consider registering for two different short codes, one that customers can opt in to in order to receive mobile deals and coupons, and another for customers who want customer service notifications but without the ads.