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March 9, 2022

SMS Contact Center: A Complete Overview and How To Get Started

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Customers prefer SMS contact center support over voice or email. Incorporate SMS messaging into your contact center strategy with this how-to guide.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, customers expect support that reflects their own communication style. Historically, call centers have dominated the customer experience. But research shows that today’s consumers prefer SMS contact center support from businesses. It’s more personable and results in faster resolutions.

According to Pew Research, 97% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind. This statistic doesn’t just describe younger generations. 92% of seniors own and use a mobile phone. Your company can reach its customers faster and cheaper with SMS support while seeing an increase in customer engagement rates.

Here’s a complete overview of SMS contact centers and the benefits of using one for your company.

What is an SMS contact center?

Like a typical voice call center, an SMS contact center is a support hub that offers SMS services as its main method of interaction. Many companies have fully automated SMS contact centers but there are other options that include agent-managed SMS centers and a combination of both.

How it works

It’s pretty simple. Your company provides customers with a phone number and messaging prompt via an SMS system. Then your customer submits a request via text message when they need help. Here’s an example of an SMS customer inquiry:

Company instructions: “Text HELP to 123456 to submit a service inquiry.”

When a customer sends this messaging prompt to the number, the SMS system automatically creates a service ticket. They’ll then receive an automated reply with more information.

Automated company response: “Thanks for your inquiry! Your request number is 59104H. We’ll update you soon. For status updates or to ask a question, simply reply to this message.”

Why your company should have an SMS contact center

The benefits of an SMS contact center are endless. It helps your company serve customers better and faster and creates a more positive, productive environment for support agents. It also helps your bottom line. Messaging support is cheap to implement and boosts returns from increased employee productivity.

Here are the top six benefits of an SMS contact center.

Save your customers and agents time

When your customers submit a request via SMS message, they aren’t tied up on a phone call waiting for an agent. They submit a request and get an automatic confirmation text letting them know a ticket has been created and an agent is on it. 

Meanwhile, your agents receive the inquiry without having to create a ticket or immediately respond to the customer. Your customers get assistance without sitting on a phone call and your agents are able to assist multiple customers at once. 

Improve analytics with message archives

One of the best, and most underrated, things about messaging with customers is access to chat records. After customer exchanges, you can archive messages to review at a later date.

These archived messages allow your company to analyze customer exchanges and improve your support strategy accordingly. These insights alone are worth the investment in SMS contact center support.

Boost customer engagement

Research proves that text messaging has six times the engagement of email. SMS messaging consistently shows high read and open rates resulting in better engagement over other types of customer support.

Additionally, emails and phone calls require higher bandwidth and connection requirements while text messages don’t. SMS messages deliver faster results and improved accessibility.

Support more customers

When a customer submits an inquiry via SMS, an automated system gathers basic information and raises a ticket. Your agents can spend their time actively assisting customers instead of processing requests. You can even set up an AI virtual agent, or live chatbot, to help customers with simple requests. 

An SMS contact center is a support hub that offers SMS services as its main method of interaction.

One agent can assist multiple customers across multiple channels with SMS texting. The result? Improved cross-channel customer support and faster processing times.

Improve communication

When a customer submits an inquiry, your agents can understand and process the request quicker without having an introductory conversation. Customers, and agents, don’t have to repeat themselves if the connection is poor. Your company can also equip agents with written templates and scripts to save them even more time.

Keeps customers (and agents) happy

No one likes speaking with an upset or frustrated customer. SMS messaging fosters a more positive environment for your agents by reducing potentially negative customer exchanges. And your customers get faster responses without having to have a full conversation with an agent.

The takeaway

It’s time to add SMS services to your support center. It’s faster, intuitive, and more engaging. With LiveVox’s two-way messaging solution, your agents can provide assistance to multiple inquiries across multiple channels at the same time. Your business benefits from increased employee productivity as well as the low cost of operating an SMS support center. It’s a win-win solution for your customers, agents, and company.

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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 650 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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