Published: March 30, 2016 | Comments
The rise of messaging for business communication has taken the world by storm, and your contact center needs to be ready to respond. But first, you need to make sure you’re responding on the right channels.
Research done by Harris Poll and commissioned by OneReach found that over 60% of customers would rather text than call your business for support. With texting, customers can get a faster, more efficient response to their questions. This value can be seen within customer communications, as well as internal workforce communications.
In our experience, texting has been shown to reduce call volume by 40% and decrease phone costs from $6-20 per call to $2-5 per interaction per text chat. By offering the option to pivot to text messaging within your call center’s IVR, your company can deflect calls to a less costly channel, reduce wait times and improve self-service options. In fact, over 40% of customers would prefer to text with an agent than wait on hold.
There are a number of ways texting can have a positive impact on your organization and make it more efficient. Organizations can use messaging to:
- Respond more with fewer agents. With text chat, agents can respond to multiple chats at once, lowering the number of agents needed to respond to customer inquiries. Bringing less agents in can help reduce costs but also improve quality of service, since managers can devote more attention to each individual agent. Contact centers can also use texting to send out alerts to customers on system updates or outages to help mitigate inbound call volume.
- Review transcripts. Text conversations, much like web chat, have an easily accessible transcript that can be reviewed and learned from through data mining and analysis of textual conversations. This is better than voice, where you cannot easily monitor quality or track recurring patterns. Contact center managers as well as agents can take a look at the conversations to see if agents were brand compliant, how long the conversation took, what and more. They can also review agent performance across channels and per agent. A solution that uses text analytics can help agents more easily track what customers are texting in about and track “hot terms” to help identify support issues.
- Guide the conversation. Most contact centers use scripts to help agents control the flow of the conversation and stay brand compliant. Your call center can take this to the next level with canned responses. Canned responses are answered recorded ahead of time that can help agents respond more quickly and make sure that answers provide the appropriate information. Canned responses can also be used to help train agents on how they should answer. Your contact center can also use artificial intelligence to autoselect an appropriate response based on a customer query.
- Send out automated surveys. In our experience, text surveys have been shown to get a 20% response rate, higher than the 15% average of email surveys and 9% response rate of phone surveys. With texting, you can set up automation to send an outbound survey as soon as they finish their conversation and have them rate their interaction on the same channel they responded on. It is natural to answer a survey after the text chat sessions because it is in the same thread. This helps ensure more accurate responses, as texters will better recall the content of a conversation closer to when the interaction happens. Your call center can then review these responses and adjust how customer service is delivered.
Corporate Communication using Text Messaging
While the value of the text channel for consumers is starting to be realized by the enterprise, most organizations still do not understand the opportunity for improvement that text messaging can have on their internal workforce communications. Text messaging is a great technology to drive desired employee behavior and improve internal communications between distributed teams.
One great example is to use text messaging to improve communication within a field services organization. Text messages can be sent to field personnel to provide appointment reminders and ensure improved show rates on booked appointments. Text reminders can also include appointment details and ensure a field service person has what they need when they show up on the job. From the customer perspective they can receive a reminder of the appointment and include a picture of the field service representative, creating a sense of trust and familiarity before the field personnel even arrives.
Companies can also use SMS internally for tasks such as reminding project team members to enter project hours or provide project status updates. The value of this channel is that the message can link directly to a mobile app or mobile web site and help improve employee adherence to internal processes using a channel they appreciate.
The ultimate value of using text messaging within an organization does not stop at the customer. Using text messaging for corporate communication helps drive more efficient communication within the organization and improves task efficiency in the workforce. By interacting with customers and employees on a channel that’s proven to improve collaboration, reduce costs and get results, companies can ensure that they’re getting the most out of their communication technologies.