Start Planning Your Contact Center SMS Strategy - Talkdesk - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
A phone is a device built for one purpose: communication. But the scope of communications is more broad than it’s ever been. The smart phones in our pockets and purses are not just devices to transfer voices across the miles anymore. These multi-purpose computers can do that, but they also email, pay bills, book services, browse the internet and much more. The good news for companies is that contact centers can do more than ever too, but they need to adapt quickly to keep up with consumers.
When it comes to personal communication, today’s consumers use their phones to type more than to talk, which means that customer-centric businesses need to make plans to start texting. It’s not an option. The choice about which channels to use in business-to-consumer communications needs to be made by the consumer and the result is clear: 85% of consumers want to be able to communicate with companies via text.
The good news for brands is that SMS messages can be included as part of a well-designed omnichannel contact center strategy. The better news is that the texting landscape is still pretty fresh, so getting a head start now could be a major competitive advantage. Here are some tips to keep in mind when developing your company’s plan for text messaging with customers.
Decide which messages to automate
Sending SMS messages to your customers shouldn’t be primarily a manual process. A lot of the outbound messages will be transactional (notifying customers that something is being delivered to them, reminding them of a deadline related to their purchase, etc.) and can be configured based on each company’s business model.
As far as the inbound text messages go, it’s likely that a new strategy will need to be put in place to manually respond. Customers will probably text the same types of concerns that appear in existing channels (chat, email or phone support), but a successful contact center strategy will also consider which issues will become more frequent due to the new texting capabilities. The SMS support teams will accurately predict the SMS messages they are likely to receive and map those messages to specific points on the customer journey. From there, they can decide how best to respond.
Develop a measurement strategy
If you’re creating a text messaging strategy from scratch, you won’t be able to measure results against past data. It’s going to be tempting to compare SMS metrics to standard email or chat metrics (number of incidents, response time, etc.), but the results won’t look the same.
For example, a text message and an email are both text exchanges that occur at the low end of the emotion range, but they’re at opposite ends of the urgency spectrum. An email might be long and include details and attachments and lots of other information that takes time to assess and respond to. A text message will likely be no more than a paragraph and customers won’t patiently wait while your team puts together a response.
To add SMS capabilities to your contact center the right way, customer teams will have to keep an eye on early metrics and adjust in real time. Maybe you want to resolve issues in half the number of messages as a chat incident and half the response time of an email incident. Those numbers might be reasonable, they might be impossible; the only way to know for sure is to measure the early results and try to see where there’s room for improvement.
Keep in mind that it’s not just your support team that will need to adjust to SMS support, your customers will have a long way to go too. Some measurements might change as your customers and agents get more comfortable and more skilled with SMS messaging.
Know when to switch channels
Text messaging is going to solve some problems for your support team, but it’s part of a bigger strategy. If a customer sends a message to support via text that can be resolved faster on a phone call or an email thread, don’t be afraid to use the more appropriate channel to respond. Just because a customer is more comfortable reaching out via text doesn’t mean that the conversation needs to stay there.
Ultimately, a text strategy is designed to give customers new ways to reach out to companies and get their issues resolved. Texting capabilities give your contact center a brand new way to increase customer satisfaction, but a poorly-designed strategy will cause more problems than it solves.
Publish Date: February 7, 2017 5:00 AM
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|3.)||Lieber & Associates|
Contact center Analytics and Metrics
Lieber & Associates provides services to develop, interpret, and improve contact center metrics and analytics. The firm's experience spans forecasting, customer service, order-taking, lead-qualification, sales, segmentation, media-source-tracking, and testing design. L&A's president pioneered segmentation for telephone scripts and the tri-level service level metric. He brings broad analytics experience to contact centers.
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