How to Use Messages for Customer Service

In Call Centers around the world, there are different kinds of cloud contact center software applications that are used. The kind of software you use, determines the quality of service. To elaborate the above statement, take into account the following.

For instance, on one hand you have a call center that uses only one mode of communication and on the other, you have a call center which offers omnichannel customer care to their customers. Which, according to you, would make it big?

Of course, the latter! A call center that allows its customers to communicate with them using their preferred mode of communication is certainly going to score some extra brownie points.

So if you haven’t already, it is time to get a move on. Most of the call centers that you see around you have already shifted their cloud calling solutions online or to other modes of communication. One of these modes happens to be text messages.

As a matter of fact, most companies prefer to inform their customers about various information and pointers through text messages. It is simple and hassle free.

Some customers do not prefer to speak to call center agents via phone because of the long holding times and the call transfers. Instead, they would rather speak to the customer care reps through text messages. Today, there are various channels of communication open to us- starting from email to text messages. And as a call center, it is your duty to make the most of all of them.

However, it must be remembered that text messaging is a relatively new concept in the field of cloud call centers. While some of the call centers have already implemented it, most of them are still testing the waters. Thus, you might not know how to go about it.

That is why we have provided you with certain tips and pointers that can help you understand how text messaging can help your business and how you can implement it into your operations. Try it and see the wonders it could do for your business.

Why has text messaging still not become the prime mode of communication yet?

I. Truth be told, today, only about 7 % of companies use text messaging for communicating with customers. This is probably because this is still new, and most companies are reluctant to try out something brand new. It could also be because of the numerous relevant questions associated with it. For instance, how should the customers reply? Or can one call on the number from where the message seems to arrive? Should there be only one number or should different reps have different numbers? Once these questions are answered, it becomes easier to implement text messaging.

II. As a matter of fact, text messaging creates kind of a “win win” situation for both parties involved- namely the customer and the company. Let’s see how. Most of the cloud calling software that needs internet to function efficiently would be directed at customers who own smartphones or tabs or have internet at their fingertips. But what about that huge section of customers who still do not use internet that frequently? The ones who have no affinity for smartphones and are still using those basic old phones? Text messaging caters to these customers. To send or receive a text message, you do not need access to the World Wide Web since this is an inbuilt feature of every phone. For the company as well, this is beneficial. More than emails, text messages have a greater chance of being read. They have an open rate of 98 %.

III. There’s another reason why you still might not have opted for text messaging as part of your operations. You’re probably thinking it’s too much of a hassle, aren’t you? Frankly speaking, you couldn’t be more wrong. You see, the set up process for text messaging as part of your cloud based call center solutions is really very simple. It is just a couple of steps before you can start working on it and even make profits from it.

IV. As discussed in the last point, the implementation process for text messaging is really quite simple. You have to get your hands on an API ready phone number which is easily available from the various service providers. Next, you plug it into your call center cloud software. There, you’re pretty much done already. Now you can start sending out messages on a large scale to all your customers.

Why should you go for text messaging?

I. When you receive a text message, even if it is a promotional one, you open it almost instantly, don’t you? However, that is not the case for emails. When customers receive promotional emails, they tend to delete it without even opening then. Text messages have a higher opening rate than any other mode of communication. And if your customers are opening the message, then rest assured, at least 90 % of them are even reading it. Thus, text messaging makes it easier for you to reach out to customers. Other modes of communication can make you feel like you’re speaking to a wall!

II. This kind of cloud call center solutions (one that revolves around text messaging) isn’t geographically limited. In the case of other modes of communication, like phone calls, location certainly plays a huge role. But in the case of text messages, it doesn’t really matter where your customers are located as long as they are in a place with mobile connectivity. That makes it easier for you to communicate with your customers. At least, there are no barriers standing in your way. Texting doesn’t even require internet! Naturally, you would be able to reach out to your customers even if your sites are down!

III. Text messaging inculcates a sense of interaction. Most of the channels of communication, like emails, are one sided. Your customers can receive and read the emails, but cannot reply to them. That makes the interaction incomplete and impossible. Instead, in the case of text messages, your customers can read the message and then send back an answer as soon as possible. A double sided interaction results in a deeper and more meaningful line of communication between the customer and the company as well.

IV. Mobile polls become easier with text messaging. Isn’t it important to understand and anticipate what customers think? That is why it is extremely important to carry out surveys and polls from time to time. These polls are mainly questionnaires that contain questions on the customer service that your clients receive. For instance, it would consist of questions like- “Did you enjoy speaking to our customer care representative?”, “is there anything that you would like to change?”, “Do you have any complaints?”, “would you recommend us to your friends?” and so on. There might even be some multiple choice questions which the customers would have to answer. The mobile tolls are usually toll free and your customers can reply to your messages free of cost.

Tips to include text messaging as part of your services

I. Before you include text messaging as part of your services, you need to know who your customers are. As you must already know, understanding your customer is the key to succeeding in business. On a daily basis, you interact with a horde of different customers. But if you were to analyze carefully, you would be able to come up with several categories of customers. Each customer you meet has a separate set of demands and expectations. That is why you need to have the profiles of all your customers ready before you start with text messaging.

II. Your text messages shouldn’t be abrupt. Otherwise, your customers would have to spend a considerable amount of time trying to grasp what the message is all about. The text message you send out should have some kind of introduction. Now we all know that these are pre-recorded messages that are being sent out. However, you should make it a point to humanize your call center cloud solutions as far as possible. Introduce yourself to your customer in a friendly and warm manner.

III. You need to really listen to what your customers have to say. Your customers have already heard your promotional and marketing strategies multiple times and are tired of it by now. Text messaging should be a chance for them to interact with you. This should be a double sided conversation that allows your customers to speak up and tell you what they feel. Text messaging is just not for promoting your brand and your deals. It should be like a heart to heart between two parties. Text messaging should provide for a proactive relationship between the customer and the brand.

IV. Ask questions to your customers. As has been mentioned already, text messaging needs to be a double sided conversation where both parties are given an opportunity to express what they have to say. Asking questions will trigger a response and your customers likely to reply almost instantly. On the other hand, if you only send promotional messages, your customers are just going to read the message and leave it at that. If you want a meaningful customer interaction, you need to ask your customers some questions.

V. Your text messages should be kept as short and simple as possible. Why don’t you put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think from their point of view? What do you do when you receive a really long message? You discard it as a promotional message and delete it, lest it clogs up your system. However, if you keep your text message short, it would help you reach out to your customers better. Your customer can go through it quickly, understand what you’re trying to say and then reply if need be. Keep your text messages upbeat, to the point and sweet. It should have an informal touch and should be fun and playful. That always warms up the customer to the brand.

VI. Do not add too many emoticons and slangs. When we say slang, we are referring to the modern SMS lingo that the kids use. Yes, that kind of language would be perfect if you’re speaking to your friends. But when you’re speaking to your customers, a mode of decorum must be maintained. You fill your messages with too much of “ur”, “thnx” or “plz” (and we all know that it can be worse than that”, you’ve lost your customer at the very beginning. Also, you may add a smiley or too to make the message seem warm and friendly. But adding a different emoticon at the end of each line might be a tad bit overwhelming for a customer who isn’t used to it. Thus, the text message language must be paid attention to.

The case study

In the above section, we have told you why text messaging has still not garnered force the way it should, the benefits it can offer to your business and some tips that tell you how to go about it. Suffice to say, the aforementioned points should be pretty clear to you know. Yet, we know there are still some questions that you must be pondering about. One of them has to be, “has any company actually benefited from it?” or “how do we know it actually works?” or even “it sounds great on paper; but is it actually worth it?” Instead of answering that, why don’t we show you a case study that will clear things up for you?

The brand name of Dominos must be pretty familiar to all of you. For foodies and pizza lovers, this is household name. Anyone who has ever bought a pizza from Dominos receives text messages on a regular basis. These text messages usually inform customers about the deals that are going on that day or other promotional texts. But if you have noticed, the text messages are heartwarming and instantly bring a smile to your face. Most importantly, these text messages call to action and tempt you to try the deals on offer.

The final outcome

The brand that was founded in the 1960s has a solid and foolproof marketing strategy in place. The director had decided to start a Facebook group. Now starting a group meant that they would require a large number of members. They resorted to sms marketing to gather more members.

• Dominos sent out a message saying that those who registered at the group would be getting free pizza

• The promise of free pizza saw an overwhelming response from the people.

• Overnight, nearly 350 people had joined the group.

• Sms marketing had thus done the trick.

• There is no denying the fact that when sms marketing is done right, it can drive the sales in a way you cannot even anticipate.

• Their sms marketing strategy accomplished two goals- 1) to sell more and more pizza 2) To increase the popularity of the Facebook group

• Over the years, Dominos has only increased their sms marketing list and continues to make the most of it.
Sms marketing, if you manage to get it right, can help your business thrive and grow the way you want it to. So what are you waiting for anyway?