How Text Messaging Software Improves Call Center Customer Service
Text messaging software has become an indispensable part of our lives. Sending a quick message no matter where you are or what you're doing is a nonintrusive way to communicate. Compared to a phone call, the recipient needs to be available and in a place, they can talk. Sometimes taking a phone call is just inconvenient. But when you receive a text message, you can respond immediately or later.
There are two different types of text messaging software. One is SMS, which is most commonly used on mobile phones. You probably use SMS texting daily to communicate with friends and family. SMS texting is included with most mobile phone plans.
The second type of text messaging software is done strictly through the Internet. Examples include apps such as Slack, Facebook Messenger, and even websites that have chat.
Call centers use both types of text messaging. In the next section, we'll see how call centers have integrated text messaging into their toolset.
How Does It Relate To UCaaS?
The better integrated a call center's software system is, the more productive its reps will be. Call center software is made up of several apps. If these apps are licensed from different vendors, integration can be more difficult. A UCaaS or Unified Communications as a Service system provides the best integration for all apps. One app that is included with a UCaaS system is text messaging.
For reps who are on the phone all day with little downtime, communicating with a coworker while speaking to a customer can be difficult. Email can help but then there is a delay with back and forth. Internal text messaging software lets reps open up a chat and text each other in real-time. This allows the rep to get his questions answered while he's speaking to the customer. It's not uncommon for reps to have more than one chat open because they're speaking with several colleagues.
Depending on the UCaaS provider, SMS text messaging may also be available. The benefit of SMS messaging is that it can help to increase customer service. One of the biggest problems call centers deal with is how to decrease hold times. A survey cited by Business Insider found that most customers hang up after only 13 minutes on hold. When a call center is at capacity, there is very little they can do to reduce hold times.
That's where SMS texting comes in. Customers can receive a text letting them know where they are in the queue. The way this type of texting works is the customer calls in and is put on hold. An automated voice asks the customer if they want a callback. The customer provides their phone number for the callback. They then receive periodic text updates about their place in the queue. Once a rep is free, they can call the customer back. This type of convenience frees the customer up from being on hold and allows the call center to improve its overall customer service.
SMS texting can also be automated. Customers can send a text to the call center asking how long hold times are. They then get a text response that answers their question. They can also text questions such as what are the center hours and what is the balance on their bill.
The line between internal text messaging and SMS text messaging is blurring. Many mobile phone providers have a way for customers to text other phones right from the desktop or laptop computer. For example, Apple's desktop messaging app lets you have a conversation with someone on a mobile phone.
To summarize some of the key benefits that text messaging software provides:
- Allows reps to communicate with colleagues while on the phone with a customer.
- Improves call center efficiency and customer satisfaction.
- Customers can quickly get responses to simple questions.
- Can communicate from desktop texting app to a mobile phone.
- For most customers, texting doesn't cost extra.
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