Trying to Provide a Better Customer Experience? Don’t call - text.

Sean Dailey, Ytel |  

Customer experience is one of the fastest growing trends we've seen in the last few years. Businesses who understand the importance of their customers are working hard to adapt and provide the ideal experience that their audience is looking for. As technology changes and improves, businesses must follow suit or risk becoming obsolete. 

Today’s contact centers, whether primarily inbound or outbound, have ample opportunity to communicate with customers and prospects. There is one key channel that should be integrated into every contact center -- and that’s SMS (text messaging).

Traditionally speaking, when a consumer reaches out to a business, it’s safe to assume they pick up the phone and call. What they encounter next is entirely up to the business on the other end - it could be a call menu with various options, or an hour of hold music, or they could even get lucky enough to speak with an agent on their first try. Whatever outcome awaits the customer’s phone call, it’s a gamble.

Today’s contact centers, whether primarily inbound or outbound or both, have ample opportunity to communicate with customers and prospects. From voice to chat and even email, the options are fruitful. However, there is one key channel that should be integrated into every contact center -- and that’s SMS (text messaging).

When it comes to modern communication, SMS is king.

Recent studies show that 9 out of 10 consumers would like to communicate with businesses through text message, whether this be through sending alerts, reminders, back and forth communication, etc.

Why SMS?

There are a few reasons, so let's start with:

1. Convenience

Consumers are busy with their jobs, raising families, travel, appointments, and more - and thus are not always available to chat on the phone. Using SMS, they’re able to have a quick conversation and still get the same outcome as they would’ve from a phone call, just in a more convenient way. 

2. Consumer Preference

When given the option between a phone call an a text, over 50% of consumers would prefer text messaging for customer support. The numbers don’t lie! If more than half of customers are expressing their preference of one communication channel over another, businesses must adapt or they’ll become obsolete. Existing where your customers do and providing them with the means to interact with your business how they want is precisely what the “customer experience” is all about.

3. Agent Productivity

Agents using SMS have been found to be 2.2 times more effective than those on the phones, often managing upwards of 10 SMS conversations at one time. Think about it. Have you ever been texting several different people at once? It’s completely possible, and fairly simple to do.

SMS for a contact center is really no different; in fact, it can be even easier because your agents have an entire computer screen to manage conversations instead of a phone screen. Since SMS is so similar to chat from an agent’s perspective, the training is typically minimal, as is the learning curve.

But wait - let's not get ahead of ourselves.

We still believe voice is a powerful channel for businesses and how they communicate with their customers. The secret sauce, as we like to call it, happens when you find a healthy blend of the two, by implementing a multi-channel strategy.

But don’t take our word for it!

One of our clients adopted this multi-channel approach by deploying both SMS and voice communications into their marketing campaigns, and broke all their previous appointment-setting and closed deal records! The number of appointments set increased 22.6 percent and the number of closed deals increased 25 percent.

If your contact center doesn’t offer SMS as a capability, your business is missing out!

Ytel's Contact Center solution has been enhanced to enable you to add SMS messages and ringless voicemail messages to your campaigns. You’ll also receive a new Inbox capability to manage inbound SMS for campaign responses.

If you’d like to learn more or get started, fill out the form here and we’ll be in touch!

If you’re a customer and you’d like to try out SMS in your Contact Center, please contact your Account Manager.

Happy texting!

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About The Author

Sean Dailey, Ytel

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Sean leads the People, Culture, and Partnership efforts at Ytel. After almost 5 years of agency recruiting, Sean decided to move into an internal recruiting role, where he could have more of a direct effect on growth and people’s lives That’s when he met Ytel and the rest is history. Sean is a huge believer in culture, and puts an emphasis on people and building relationships.

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