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5 Ways Texting Helps Contact Centers Enhance the Customer Experience

According to Deloitte, 92% of organizations that view customer experience as a differentiator offer multiple contact channels. Although calling will always be one way customers prefer to get issues resolved, things like IVR mazes and long wait times bog this option down. Email often takes time. Web chat can work, but today’s consumers spend more time on their mobile phones. Combining texting with calling can help you give high touch customer service. Prompt issue resolution is the most important element of a satisfying customer experience, according to 63% of respondents in a recent CFI group survey.  So, your goal should be dealing with issues as quickly as possible. SMS can help achieve this!

SMS customer support

A Case Study: How United Phosphorus Limited (UPL) Used Texting for Customer Service

One of our clients is United Phosphorus Limited (UPL), a global agricultural company with locations in 124 countries. They manufacture crop solution products, have contact centers all over India, and handle more than 100,000 monthly calls from farmers.

When a new farmer calls, UPL registers him in their texting database. The farmer gets an automated welcome text with information about his registration. Often, farmers call with product related queries. The contact center agent answers their questions on call, but also sends them a text with product information. Texts go in the language the farmer speaks, making them simple to comprehend.

Texts make it easy for the farmers to refer to details and specs during the buying process. As a result, UPL also sees higher sales conversions in such cases.

Texting can be a powerful way to drive sales, but it’s also a practical way to drive higher satisfaction rates. Why? Here are five reasons texting makes customers smile.

5 Reasons Texting will Turn a Customer Frown Upside Down

1.    Easy to Gain Context

Texting makes it easy for your agents to get the context of an inquiry. Typing in 160 characters or less encourages customers to state their problem succinctly. Beyond that, texting conversations can be logged centrally, making it easy for other agents to respond if the agent who was first in contact with the customer is unavailable later. This can reduce a customer’s call hell, where he has to repeatedly explain the  issue every time he calls, to a different agent each time. Agents can also deal with many incoming texts simultaneously, reducing their average handling time.

2. Convenient

With toll-free texting, customers don’t have to pay to text your contact center. This encourages them to freely text in, wherever they are. Texting is something customers can do on-the-go or while multitasking. Contact center employees will also find it easy to keep in touch with remote agents using texting, since texting does not require internet. Another use case? One of our clients uses keyword based texting to allow repairmen to report that a gadget is working.

3. Gives Choice Back to Customers

Offer texting as an option to customers who are waiting on hold. This will give them a choice, putting them back in the driver’s seat. However, a word of caution—make sure you’re equipped to offer a quick resolution to text queries, otherwise your customer will just be swapping the devil for the deep blue sea! One solution- you can send automated texts as answers to common questions, routing more complex queries to agents.

4. MMS Speeds up Issue Resolution

Many say we live in a mobile-only world today. MMS is a technology unique to mobile, which can help your contact center understand customer issues faster. For example, if a customer can click a photo of a damaged product, it will be easier for you to process a refund or a return.

MMS Customer Support

You can also use gamification in product return texts to get quick responses from customers about their preferred option. Let’s say a customer, Joan, of a shopping site, Eway, wants to return a damaged TV. She uses the text option to contact Eway. Eway wants to see photos of the damage.

Hi Joan, Please text us 2 photos of the damaged product. Sorry for the trouble. Thanks, Eway

Once Joan texts the photos, Eway asks her what she wants to do.

Hi Joan, Text 1 if you want us to replace the product or text 2 if you'd like a refund. Thanks, Eway

Joan wants Eway to replace the product, but Eway doesn’t have it in stock, so it updates Joan.

Hi Joan, It will take 6 days for this model to be back in stock. We’re sorry for the trouble you have faced. We’ll update you when your order is ready to ship. Thanks, Eway

Once Eway gets Joan’s TV, it notifies her and ships it.

Hi Joan, We will deliver your replacement product on Apr 8, 2016, by 7 PM. Thanks, Eway

Finally, Joan gets her TV. By keeping her informed at every stage, Eway minimizes her annoyance.

5. Self-service Support

Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage “85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.” Automated texting can help you enhance your self-service options. For instance, encourage customers to ask for FAQs over text. Or, send a product tutorial over text.

More and more customers prefer to text rather than call, so to serve the customers of the future, you should incorporate texting in your contact center today.

What are some ways you’d love to serve your customers via text? How have you interacted with brands via SMS or MMS? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.