Today’s generation of consumers are much different when compared to the previous one. The on-demand and quick service that has become standard has changed the way businesses interact with customers. The call center is no different. It was only two decades ago that call centers were dominated by phones. Agents would spend their entire shifts making and receiving calls, trying to generate more leads or helping customers solve a problem.
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Now, text messaging has taken over the way we communicate. Many customers actually prefer texting to a phone call. As a result, the call center adapted. Call centers have developed into omnichannel contact centers, where agents interact with customers through various channels such as SMS, chat, voice, and email. Text messaging is one method of communication that many businesses have embraced. It’s quick, easy, and tends to have higher success rates than email. A Gartner study reported open rates anywhere from 45% to 98% for text messages and 20% to 6% for email. Below you’ll find four ways that show how text messaging is effective for call centers.
Use virtual agents to enhance business text messaging
Virtual agents are software tools that call centers use to help provide customer support. Advanced technology like speech analytics can transcribe customer requests over the phone. Virtual agents are programmed to help customers with basic tasks such as account updates or payments. This reduces call volume for agents, and allows them to focus on helping those customers that need to speak to a live agent.
Virtual agents can also help customers through texting. They can provide answers for commonly asked questions and perform basic account maintenance. SMS virtual agents also help lessen call volume as well as texting volume. If needed, SMS virtual agents can connect a customer to a live agent. Contact centers can expand their support hours by implementing virtual agents into their SMS service. This allows customers to get the help they need after hours. Texting is less time-consuming, and many customers prefer the quick responses. The convenience texting provides makes it an effective tool for contact centers that want to provide a better customer experience.
Improve campaigns through CRM segmentation
Text messaging has helped drive effective marketing strategies for businesses. In addition to the high response rate, efficiency is another advantage texting brings. Agents can reach a large number of prospects or customers by sending a single message. This saves a significant amount of time when compared to attempting to make contact with the same number of people over the phone. LiveVox provides an integrated SMS call center texting solution that pulls data from its CRM. Agents can create segmented lists of numbers to create messages tailored to different audiences. Through the use of dynamic fields, each message can be personalized for each recipient. Customized marketing SMS messages provide an improved customer experience because they don’t read like bulk spam.
Automated text messaging workflows
Automation technology enhances the efficiency of SMS communication. Users can create automated workflows that deliver SMS messages on a customized schedule with various triggers. For example, an SMS automated workflow can deliver a primary message and then deliver a follow up message after an X number of days with no response. An agent can have numerous automated marketing campaigns running in the background. This can also function as a way to remind customers about payment due dates. Messages can be customized to include response options such as Y or N, and can also deliver links to payment portals. Businesses also use automated texting to conduct surveys, where free-responses or pre-filled responses can provide valuable business intelligence.
Gain valuable insights into SMS analytics
Obtaining business intelligence data from SMS interactions can help call center leadership identify various aspects of agent performance and customer needs. Data analytic solutions analyze the verbiage in every SMS message to identify keywords, trends, patterns, and other performance metrics. Call centers can use these numbers to drive better business decisions. For example, automated reports could show a significant number of negative phrases surrounding a specific product. Information like that can drive a reassessment of that particular product to ensure that customers are heard.
SMS analytics can also provide insight into agent performance. Much like the numbers that supervisors depend on to gauge agent performance over the phone, this data does the same. For example, these reports can provide information about SMS resolution and transfer rates per agent. This allows leadership to uncover knowledge gaps that can distort the customer journey. Team leaders can leverage these reports to narrow down which agents may need extra coaching and training.
LiveVox boasts over 20 years of experience developing advanced, technology-driven solutions specific to the call center. Its unified CRM and omnichannel solutions have helped call centers improve agent productivity and efficiency. With streamlined workflows, agents can deliver improved customer support for a positive customer experience.