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March 30, 2020

11 Benefits of Digital Messaging Systems for Remote Agents

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digital messaging system allows remote agents to meet customers on their platforms of choice

What is digital messaging?

Also referred to as business messaging, digital messaging is the set of channels a company uses to communicate with its customers. Digital messaging can happen on any channel where your brand has a presence, from social media to web chat, but the most common business messaging channel is SMS or text message. 

Even if you’ve never actively reached out to contact a brand, if you’ve purchased a product or service in the modern world, then you’ve interacted with a digital messaging system. Shipping notifications, appointment reminders, marketing emails, and promotional text messages are just a few of the common examples of digital messaging we encounter in everyday life. 

Business messaging systems are invaluable for providing support and making sales. They allow brands to send personalized product recommendations, share promotions, provide useful informational resources, and keep agent workloads manageable, all of which contribute to better performance. 

But such systems aren’t just a one-way channel for brands to blast messages to consumers. They also work the other way, fulfilling a critical demand on the part of your customers: to be able to reach you easily when they need to. Digital messaging allows you to meet your customers on the platforms of their choice, have personal conversations and reach successful outcomes at scale. 

A digital messaging system empowers customer service agents

What are the benefits of digital messaging for remote agents?

There is much to consider when migrating an onsite contact center workforce to a remote setup. As a manager, you’ll have to consider things like providing tools that cultivate productivity and minimize stress or distractions for agents as well as helping them to practice good time management. Utilizing tools like digital messaging as part of a work from home contingency plan can accomplish all of these and allow your agents to maintain, if not ramp up, your quality of service.

There are three main areas where digital messaging can really help our agents shine when working from home. We’ve broken them down below: 

Increase agent & customer satisfaction

If you’re already sending one-way messages you’re getting responses that are going unanswered. That amounts to a huge missed opportunity. And for those not already utilizing an asynchronous channel like SMS messaging at all, you should know that the flexibility and availability it affords to both agents and customers is unmatched.

1. Meet the high expectations of customers & make their lives easier while doing it

Consumers want to be contacted through their channel of choice at a time that is convenient for them. This preference is heightened in times of insecurity when their attention is being pulled in every direction. 

2. Webchat can help drive internal alignment & surface customer information quickly

Webchat can also aid in call deflection and drive more efficient service. Internal chat can also be used to help agents communicate amongst themselves so information is transferred and the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves.

3. Higher connect rates mean happy agents and more revenue 

SMS provides a path to agent efficiency AND customer satisfaction. Response rates for SMS skew higher than other channels because it’s a consumer-favorite medium, which means agent connectivity will grow, and, in turn, so will your bottom line. While response rates are going to depend on what you’re sending or asking customers to do in your text campaigns, the general consensus is that SMS consistently outperforms voice and email when it comes to open or engagement rates.

4. Safeguard against agent burnout

If you’re dealing with an uptick in call volume your agents could be feeling overwhelmed.

SMS is easy to set up, easy to monitor, and, best of all, easy for agents to use. Bi-directional auto-responses coupled with keyword triggers let agents focus on those customers whose issues require undivided attention over the phone.

5. Keep agents organized

A messaging campaign dashboard can help your team stay organized by keeping track of which customers have been sent a message, slimming call lists while making sure you’re staying on track with who you need to reach.

Optimize agent efficiency with digital channels

Asynchronous digital channels like two-way messaging, webchat, and email provide an easy solution for distributing information quickly to customers. While some issues require a phone call, many customer interactions can be handled just as effectively online.

6. Increase efficiency so agents can focus on making more outbound connections 

With two-way messaging, you can increase your visibility and your reach with customers exponentially. This means not only contacting more people per day but actually engaging them and getting them to take action.

7. Click-to-text takes agents from one to many 

Just like HCI® (Human Call Initiator), Click-to-text, or HTI (Human Text Initiator) with consent allows you to maximize your outreach by sending mass updates that direct your customers to follow your lead.

8. Deflect call volume

With a surge in call volume during challenging times like this, your agents might be likely in an overwhelmed state. Use two-way messaging to partition some of your agents to handle incoming texts to thin call queues. Responding to texts is something they can do with multiple customers at one time so it’s increasing your efficiency from the customer perspective while driving agent productivity.

9. Pre-written messages create consistency.

You can lock down what messages contain. Templatizing is an easy way to boost efficiency by cutting down on typing while ensuring adherence to scripts. Custom template creation and canned messages can be leveraged for quality management and tailored on the fly, even within automated campaigns.

Empower customers to self-help

An asynchronous channel means round-the-clock service. It also means fewer calls in the queue and lowered wait times. Two-way messaging encourages customers to be more self-reliant and lets agents set more straightforward, routine issues that can arise to autopilot.

10. Keep self-service calls out of agent queues.

One simple way to triage an uptick in call volume is to help customers become self-reliant by using two-way messaging as a virtual agent capability. In scenarios where human intervention isn’t necessary a text can provide a faster level of service. For example, you may already be sending account alerts via text, but your customers might have follow-up questions. With two-way messaging, they can continue that conversation in the same thread started by the initial alert.

11. Set up keyword cues to simulate conversational exchanges.

Keyword routing lets you configure triggers based on specified words to carry out actions via messaging. For example, if a customer wants to schedule a call with an agent for a later date you can set the word “CALL” to schedule that appointment. Or, if they’d like to opt into recurring automatic payments they can text you “AUTOMATIC” — the words you choose are up to you.

Digital channels provide a twofold benefit for agents working from home because you’re enabling constant contact while also gathering vital intel that can be leveraged to better understand customer preferences, history, and intent. With this information, you can further develop relationships that yield positive ROI benefits for your company’s bottom line whether agents are at home or in the office.

A digital messaging system mitigates agent burnout.

Industries that benefit from digital messaging 

Healthcare

Healthcare organizations can use digital messaging to send appointment reminders, encourage timely payments, notify patients of test results, alert patients to changes in their chart, and more.

Financial services

Financial services firms can greatly benefit from business messaging services. Digital messages can be used to send account updates, provide transaction history, upsell premium services, and complete two-step account authentication, among other things. A secure messaging solution offers the added benefit of helping organizations meet all compliance requirements for the safe delivery of financial information. 

Customer service

For most of us, this is the industry where the bulk of our experience with digital messaging comes from. From social media conversations to SMS-based support, the customer service options for leveraging digital messaging are endless. 

Retail

Retail businesses can turn their digital messaging system into a powerful sales engine with abandoned cart reminders, back-in-stock alerts, tailored product suggestions, and geo-triggered promo codes.

Travel and tourism

Travel-based companies can turn the often-stressful experience of getting from one place to another into a seamless one with messages like flight status notifications, pre-trip checklists, and customized recommendations for things to see and do. 

Teleservices

With a much higher open rate than email, SMS messaging presents a valuable opportunity for teleservices firms to connect with customers on a platform they actually enjoy using.

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About LiveVox

LiveVox (Nasdaq: LVOX) is a next generation contact center platform that powers more than 14 billion omnichannel interactions a year. By seamlessly unifying blended omnichannel communications, CRM, AI, and WEM capabilities, the Company’s technology delivers exceptional agent and customer experiences, while helping to mitigate compliance risk. With 20 years of cloud experience and expertise, LiveVox’s CCaaS 2.0 platform is at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. The Company has more than 700 global employees and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Atlanta; Columbus; Denver; New York City; St. Louis; Medellin, Colombia; and Bangalore, India. To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox or visit livevox.com.

To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox, visit www.livevox.com or call one of our specialists at (844) 207-6663.

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