Messaging Within Your Contact Center: Should You Implement?
With the growth in mobile devices, your company may be considering whether to add contact center messaging as a customer service channel. In order to determine if contact center messaging is a viable option, consider these statistics:
- The #1 use for a cell phone is sending and receiving text messages.
- At least 97 percent of Americans with a cell phone use it to text once a day.
- Text messages enjoy a 98 percent open rate, but email has a mere 20 percent open rate.
- Americans send twice as many text messages than making phone calls.
- An SMS text chat costs pennies versus a phone call that can range from $5 to $20.
Despite these facts, your organization may face some reluctance to add contact center messaging. Relying upon a live agent seems more personal and effective at building customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, more consumers have embraced messaging as their preferred contact method. This can lead to a disconnect between your company and your customers, which results in a declining customer base and poor call center metrics.
The marketplace offers a wide array of options for contact center messaging. These choices allow you to design a contact center messaging system best suited for your customer and turn texting into a consumer context used to sell products, solve problems, and increase customer stickiness.
Toll-free messaging is gaining traction, which is similar to toll-free 800 numbers. This equalizes the cost factor between voice and text, and consumers will not be unpleasantly surprised by hidden fees. Another feature allows a live agent to recognize that a voice call is coming in on a cell phone, which gives the agent the ability to text information, such as directions, directly to the customer rather than waiting for the caller to find a piece of paper and pencil to write them down. For technical problems, the agent can send diagrams, pictures, and written instructions while talking to the customer. This reduces talk time and increases agent-to-customer engagements.
Smart notifications give your company the ability to automate bulk messaging. This can include appointment reminders or courtesy messages to stay in touch with the consumer. In addition, smart notifications can connect with your agents. For instance, if a customer responds by text message, that response is forwarded to a live agent who can offer live support.
The method consumers choose to communicate is changing at a lightning fast pace as technology offers greater innovations. Voice contact remains important; however, texting is quickly outpacing phone calls as the method of choice, especially with Millennials, who grew up with cell phones. Contact center messaging may never completely replace talking to a live agent. It may be best seen as another viable, cost-effective channel through which you provide excellent customer service and stay competitive.