How Toll Free SMS Texting Empowers Customer Service Teams

toll free SMS texting text messaging 1-800 numbers

Customer satisfaction is the primary goal of any customer service team. Increase your team’s responsiveness and you’ll increase your customer happiness. The bottom line: Communication is key, and texting is one of the easiest ways for people to communicate. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s not just for 16 year-old girls anymore. Scientists have done studies:

According to a Forrester Research study, 97% of people ages 18-29 and 92% of people ages 30-49 prefer to send SMS text messages as their primary form of communication.

So, how does toll free SMS texting “empower” your customer service team?

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about this: Since the 1960s, if you wanted to contact a company’s customer service department, you’d call their toll free 1-800 number, and what would happen? You’d be stuck in the call queue, listening to on-hold music, waiting to connect to the next available support representative. The longer you waited, the more irritated and dissatisfied you got, right?

Sure some companies allow you to contact them via email, online chat, and their web-based-CRM-help-desk-ticket-submission-tracking-system, but all of that can seem quite daunting when you just want to speak to a real person ON THE PHONE!

So you call the company’s toll free number and you wait…and wait…and wait…and you get disconnected and need to start over. We’ve all been there.

This is where the ability to text message a toll free number comes in handy. What if, instead of being forced to wait on hold, you could simply text the 1-800 helpline to get placed in the queue for an agent call-back? You wouldn’t have to submit a ticket via a web-based-CRM-help-desk-ticket-submission-tracking-system or send an email, just a quick text, and whala! No more waiting on hold, listening to ever-infuriating elevator music.

So, why doesn’t your cable company use toll free SMS texting?

Everyone knows that calling your cable company is the worst. If they aren’t using toll free SMS texting or some other means of customer call back queuing, they probably will soon. The fact is toll free text messaging is a new technology. Really new. Like within the last year new. However, there are a few great examples of organizations who have implemented toll free texting with great results.

Here’s a case study on how the NRA (think eating, not shooting) recently empowered their customer service team by implementing toll free SMS texting:

According to, last August the National Restaurant Association (NRA) started giving its members the option to text their customer service team’s toll free number instead of waiting on hold to speak to someone. And the results were astounding.

The NRA’s voicemail log was reduced by 80% and the NRA estimates it had about 6,000 text conversations within the first five months of implementing the new technology. The service allowed the association to handle a higher call volume with the same number of staff, and according to the NRA, the feedback from their customers was “extremely positive”.

In summary, toll free SMS texting allowed the NRA to:

  • Reduce on-hold wait times and call volume by servicing requests via SMS toll free messages
  • Enable customers and call center agents to seamlessly switch between calls and text-based support
  • Make customer communication faster, easier, and more convenient

I should note…

Toll free SMS texting is not just useful for customer service teams. It’s also a great sales and marketing tool. For example, you could run promotions or contests allowing customers to text a promo code for a special discount or giveaway. The possibilities are endless.

How does toll free SMS texting work and how can you get it?

As I mentioned before, SMS texting on toll free numbers is a new technology. There are only a handful of toll free service providers now offering it. We’re proud to say that UniTel Voice is one of them.

Toll free texting is actually provided on a completely different type of network than voice phone calls. In fact, you can use a different SMS text carrier than the phone company that carries your toll free number phone calls. With UniTel Voice, you can enable toll free SMS texting by signing up for a new UniTel Voice toll free number or by keeping your existing one with your current provider.

At UniTel Voice, we strive to make our products affordable and easy to use. Here’s how easy we’ve made toll free texting:

  1. Your customers text your toll free number.
  2. You receive the text message as an email.
  3. You reply to that email and your customer receives your message as a text reply from your toll free number.

Finally, if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that you can’t just offer an awesome product. You’ve got to offer killer support too. With all of our services we offer personal account managers to help you get up and running, and unlimited access to free ongoing support, based right here in Northern Illinois.

start toll free texting

Submit comment