customer support by SMS
avatarBy Rebecca Bartley

Every day more organizations and companies are adopting SMS for customer service. This isn’t too surprising since roughly 91 percent of the world adult population owns a cellphone, making mobile the dominant form of communication these days. Text messages are almost always read, unlike business-to-customer emails, and usually within three minutes of being received.

Earlier this year TD was the first major bank to implement SMS customer support for their customers. We investigated further as a real-life example to showcase how customer care SMS works for an organization, how customers responded this new service offered by TD, and if there really is a future in SMS customer support for businesses.

How Does It Work?

“Whether it’s a general question about a banking product, a branch location or EasyWeb, or they just need a quick phone number, TD customers can now reach a live TD agent via text,” says Wendy Arnott, Head of Digital Marketing and Social Media, TD Bank Group.

Introduced as part of a pilot in the fall of 2014, the ability to text TD through smartphones is now available to customers by using the shortcode TDHELP (834357) between 6 am and 11 pm ET, seven days a week. Customers with questions that require an in-person response will then be directed to the TD customer service line.

Customer Responses

The overall customer response to TD’s new SMS customer support service was received with wide success and positive praise from not only customers but the general public overall.

mobile-coupon-mmsWe have contacted TD Bank’s text message support by using shortcode TDHELP (834357) and talked to Jen about opening a Euro account.

Comments from customers included praise for fast response times, such as Greg Cook’s (@GregnKW) experience in which he stated “@TD_Canada Love your new text msg service. Just sent off a query and got a reply back within 5 minutes. Brilliant!!” Other responses included praise overall for implementing this new service for customers, such as Sam Smith’s response on moneysense.ca which exclaimed “This is brilliant! Why don’t all the banks, telcos and any industry that offers customer service offer this? We all text!” Moneysense.ca additionally held a poll on their website that asked viewers if they would text their bank, with over 75 percent of users answering “Yes.”

Usman, a writer for the website iphoneincanada.ca, even went as far as to screenshot his conversation while using the TD customer support SMS. The conversation included topics and information regarding web brokers, stocks, TFSA and taxes in which TD was quick to provide responses with answers to his questions. Based on the responses, it was very apparent to Usman that he was talking to a real TD advisor, versus an automated response. When it was clear that the discussion had to move away from the text message and on to the phone to provide more in-depth details, Usman was quickly provided a toll-free number to call to speak to someone right away.

SMS Customer Support Future for Businesses

SMS means simplicity and provides convenience for customers to ask questions and receive answers quickly and in real time, which is a win for the customer. On the business side, SMS allows an organization or company to connect with their customers on a more personal level and build a closer relationship as text messaging is usually associated with friends and family.

Today, only roughly about 7 percent of consumers resort to SMS to communicate with businesses, which is far behind email, voice calls and even direct mail. Make no mistake though, the market for SMS customer support is growing within organizations every day, with the demand from customers to reach a company’s support line in a more convenient, faster and direct way.

Interested in providing customer support by text message? We can help! Contact your Toronto telecommunication technology experts today and let us find a proper solution to suit your business.


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