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2 Way Text Messaging With Customer Service

Posted by Laurie Heng on Feb 29, 2016

Communicate With Customer Service Via Text MessagingCopyright: bialasiewicz / 123RF Stock Photo
‘Customer service’ sometimes takes a bad rap.


Though no one disagrees with the concept that businesses must make the effort to address any complaints or questions from customers, the modern process can leave much to be desired.


Many companies have grown so large that their customer service reps take questions from all around the world, and the call-takers, as great as they sometimes can be, are urged to rush through calls as fast as possible because there are so many others waiting, each one with a story to tell.


One solution that can offer businesses and their customers the best of both worlds is 2 Way Text.


Here, the caller and the agent can both communicate via texting, a method that can improve everything from the speed of the call to the tone of the conversation.


Trumpia, an automated text service, also offers businesses a variety of customer care services, including chat via mobile and texting via landline. Not only are they useful, but they solve some of the problems that can hinder traditional phone-based call centers.

  • Less can be more. One of the good and bad things about the traditional customer service agent model is the chit-chat. While it might be a good technique to build rapport with a caller to talk briefly about the weather or what’s happening in their local region, it also adds to the time of the conversation. Since most centers focus on a low average handle time per call as an important metric, this excess chatter can sometimes be seen as a disadvantage. With 2 Way Text, the caller and the agent are a little more focused on the purpose of the call “please help me with X” rather than other topics. This is partly due to the space limit of text limit – you need to get the point and condense your thoughts into 160 characters or less.

  • Interact directly with a person. Some companies direct you to the automated system to see if it can solve your problem before having to connect to a human. Sometimes this can make people more upset especially if they have a situation or a question that’s more complicated than pressing 1 or 2. Apple, for instance, automatically switches people to a human operator if someone swears. Using 2 Way Text starts the conversation with a person who is also texting, so the person trying to get help doesn’t have to explain the problem several times or get stuck in a voice message maze.

  • Multi-tasking welcome. If a caller’s phone is glued to their ear talking to someone, or worse, on hold waiting to talk to someone, there isn’t much else for them to do in that moment in time. The same is true for a customer service specialist who must focus only on the person they’re talking to in a traditional model. However with a two-way texting solution, both parties are able to do several things at once. The caller can walk around and do other tasks while waiting for a texted response from the business representative. This freedom also can reduce some of the frustration over long wait times that can lead to dropped calls or negative interactions. The business representative is able to interact with and send texts to several customers at once, which dramatically increases their response time and productivity.

  • Discretion is good. Another challenge with voice-based call centers is that people don’t always want to make calls when there are others around, such as discussing financial information, personal health or billing info. This may keep people from calling, or having to whisper. Instead, with 2 Way Text, they can answer these personal questions via SMS.

  • Landlines welcome. Along with mobile-to-mobile texting, Trumpia allows companies to send and receive texts through an existing toll-free number or landline. This keeps employees from having to use their personal smartphone number for work calls, and lets customers know they only have to call one number to either talk to someone or text someone. The company will receive texts in an in-box, like an email, and can respond the same way.

  • Less intimidation. Some customers may be uncertain whether to bother talking to a busy person with their problem. Or they may worry that there’s an easy solution that they’re not seeing. Or that they’ll be laughed at or insulted by someone who knows more than they do about a particular product or service. Having a text discussion can be less frightening – there’s more of an expectation to be polite and formal. And you can’t see any eye rolling either.

  • Easy access to customer data. With 2 Way Text, your company can acquire more information about your customers than just their phone numbers. This can start with their name, address and email, but also any common keywords they discuss. These can be associated with their account used in future targeted promotions around that particular product or topic. The text conversation and any outcome can also be associated with that customer’s account for future reference.

  • Overall statistics. A company trying to look at the big picture of how they’re interacting with customers and how their various products or services are performing can compile a summary of all the texts received and all the people who were assisted. Keeping track of different mobile keywords also can be a useful to way to see why people were calling.

  • No accent problems. One concern about international companies is that the customer service team is sometimes difficult to understand even if they understand you. With texting, all they have to do is read and write English, rather than speak it, something that will cause less frustration and confusion.

  • It’s becoming more and more common. Tech experts say we’re all becoming multi-channel customers, and the mobile phone is at the heart of it. It lets us reach out to businesses in fast and easy ways, whether it’s through social media, texting, or even voice if we want human contact. Blake Morgan from Forbes said businesses need to keep this in mind and make sure their customers can reach them from every channel. Mr. Coffee, for instance, doesn’t even want people calling anymore – customers are encouraged to email or text. And the Marriott Hotel chain also now can take reservations or hold guest conversations via text.

Overall, 2 Way Text can be a useful tool to supplement your customer service efforts. There will still be customers who want a “real” voice but others will be content to type their question in and wait patiently for a response. For more information visit Trumpia.com.

 

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