Just informing customers about texting capabilities won’t reduce the volume of customer interactions, but it does lay the groundwork for other best practices that do.
#2. Use Text as an IVR to Deflect Calls
Traditionally, contact centers set up their IVRs (interactive voice response system) so that callers can get information they need without connecting to an agent.
The problem is, because traditional call deflection relies on voice, its effectiveness depends on call quality. Plus, customers often forget the information they ask for and have no way to reference it again. Ultimately, this risks a poor customer experience.
Embedding texting inside your support funnel solves these issues. Automated triggers send prompt and clear information without involving an agent. Best of all, customers can refer back to past text messages for information, rather than repeatedly calling.
#3. Take Advantage of AI
Contact centers can use AI tools to deflect frequently asked questions from their team, freeing agents to focus on more nuanced issues.
A great example of AI tools for contact centers is auto replies. Auto replies recognize trigger phrases and respond on your agent’s behalf. Advanced contact center AI tools pull the correct answers straight from your documentation, ensuring it’s as accurate as possible.
Plus, auto replies can run 24/7, so even if agents are unavailable, customers always have support.
#4. Enable Simultaneous Text Interactions
Unlike voice, texting allows agents to support multiple customers at the same time. Based on Textel’s research, four conversations per agent is the optimal amount.
Just by incorporating text capabilities, you are already resolving 4x more tickets than over voice!
#5. Use Canned Text Responses
So you’ve moved your customers to text — but their issues are too nuanced for deflection, and your agents are juggling multiple conversations at once. Canned text responses are the perfect solution.
Just like with live web chat, canned text responses are preset responses that agents can use to respond quickly. They’re a great way to keep the conversation moving.
The key is to work with your agents to determine the most common phrases and questions, then come up with approved responses. Organizing the responses is equally important, so that agents can easily find and use the right one.
#6. Use Text as a Chatbot
Like AI, automation is revolutionizing the way we use technology to work. For example, texts can gather information that agents used to collect over the phone with guided conversations. Robust integrations with your CRM and helpdesk can automatically move this data to back-end systems, so agents don’t have to manually update records.
Thanks to automation, text support can even qualify customers before they’re routed to a live agent by using information gathered through conversations and forms. Ultimately, text messaging support leads to a smoother, faster, and more accurate support experience for both agents and customers.
#7. Simplify Your Tech Stack
Training agents to support customers via text is much easier if they can use the same tools they’re already using. Textel works with leading contact center as a service (CCaaS) solutions, like NICE and Genesys, to make text support more seamless and effective than ever.
With rising costs, turnover, and demand, it’s more important than ever that contact centers manage call volume to stay afloat. If you follow these best practices, SMS support has the potential to elevate your strategy and increase revenue.
If you’re looking for an AI-driven SMS solution, Textel may be able to help. Click to learn more about how we help you achieve real results.
AI-powered support platform to introduce SMS business texting features to optimize the customer experience
ST. LOUIS – January 19, 2023 –Capacity, the AI-powered support automation platform, today announced the acquisition of Textel, a cloud-based texting platform. With the acquisition, Capacity will enhance the end-user customer experience by expanding its capabilities to include AI-powered SMS business texting features.
Text is rapidly becoming a vital element of the customer service experience and is being prioritized by businesses, with 80% of customer service organizations set to abandon native mobile apps in favor of messaging by 2025. Yet, many SMS solutions offer only basic two-way SMS functionality, which doesn’t eliminate the need for manual customer service interactions. Together, Capacity and Textel will optimize the customer experience by extending an AI-enabled, two-way SMS feature to the Capacity customer base and introducing AI and automation into Textel offerings.
“Providing the ideal customer experience is top of mind for businesses, but can create redundant tasks that prevent employees from focusing on more complex projects requiring a higher level of attention. Capacity eliminates repetitive tasks by streamlining support via web, mobile, email and internal chat. Still, we needed to incorporate a missing element to the equation: SMS,” said David Karandish, Capacity co-founder and CEO. “Adding Textel’s deep expertise in SMS messaging will allow us to enrich our current offering and give teams even more time back in their days to complete their best work.”
Capacity and Textel both work toward helping businesses provide ever-improving levels of support to create more efficiency for internal and external teams and improve bottom-line revenue for organizations of all sizes. Now, they will work as one team to bring those capabilities to a growing number of companies and industries that wish to transform customer support, including contact centers, high growth companies and small businesses.
“The Textel team has made incredible strides in forming partnerships with the industry’s top CCaaS, UCaaS and POS platform creators and tailoring our platform to perform at the highest level, not only for small businesses but also for household name brands at the national and global level,” said James Diel, Textel co-founder and CEO. “Our partner-centric approach creates an ‘easy button’ for our newly combined team to drive value for our partners and help any organization that wants to keep its internal teams focused.”
Through this partnership, Capacity and Textel customers and partners will continue to receive the quality service they love and expect, with access to more tools that can transform the customer experience. Textel will operate as a subsidiary of Capacity and will remain headquartered in St. Louis, working with over 1,700 customers. The terms of the transaction are confidential. For more information on how Capacity enables self-service and helps teams do their best work, please visit Capacity.com.
Founded in 2017, Capacity is a support automation platform that uses AI to promote self-service, providing immediate Tier 0 and Tier 1 support for customers and internal teams. Capacity answers over 90% of FAQs and escalates more pressing, nuanced issues to the right person. Capacity works across chat, email, and SMS to help teams do their best work.
Founded in 2014, Textel is the rapidly growing texting platform for businesses and contact centers designed to enhance the customer experience, increase customer engagement, improve contact center performance and drive revenue. With customers worldwide, Textel helps companies communicate faster and more efficiently than traditional channels.
10-digit long code registration and validation is sweeping business SMS, creating a safer, less spammy playing field for texting. But the process can be complicated (and a little annoying). So, we’re here to break it down.
What is 10DLC?
10DLC refers to the 10-digit long code phone numbers your business uses to text or call customers.
Recently, the national mobile carriers (think Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile) started a program to regulate business texting from these 10-digit phone numbers. The idea is to provide greater transparency into the use of Application to Person texting from businesses to their subscribers (your customers). The program is also meant to offer up better protections for both businesses and customers and eliminate spam.
This is an industry-wide requirement for business texting. Any business that texts from a standard phone number must register, regardless of the texting platform. Shortcodes and Toll-Free numbers are not regulated by the 10DLC standards.
Why are carriers implementing 10DLC registration regulations?
The mobile carriers want to prevent spammers from taking advantage of businesses and their customers.
Simply put, mobile carriers are trying their hardest to avoid following in email’s footsteps.
How many emails do you have in your inbox at this minute? 10? 100? 10,000? And how many of those emails are you actually reading and engaging with each day? Chances are you’re skimming or skipping a huge majority of them.
Texting sheds the excess weight of your corpulent, pernicious inbox. And mobile carriers in the US want to keep it that way.
To register you’ll need to provide details about your business and brand. Then, it’ll require Campaign Use Cases, which break down how you intend to use your business texting. And finally, you’ll need to provide a few sample messages your brand would send customers using your 10DLC number.
What will I need to register a 10DLC number?
Registering your brand is a one-time setup. You’ll need to provide information that matches precisely to your tax documentation. Please make sure this info is absolutely accurate and free of any misspellings.
Here’s a list of the information you’ll need to register your line:
Your legal business name
Make sure this matches exactly to your tax documents. If you miss including “LLC” or change your capitalization or have other inconsistencies, your registration may not be accepted and you’ll have to resubmit.
The name your company is doing business as
Your business address
Your company’s tax number/ID/EIN
If you are a SOLE-PROP using your social security number for tax purposes: we recommend you go through the process to obtain an EIN and then resubmit your 10DLC Registration. It is very easy to get a EIN and only takes a few moments. You can do so here: https://irs.ein-tax-id-number.com/application/
Your business industry and type (private, publicly traded or nonprofit)
Your Stock Symbol if applicable
Your company’s website
Your primary contact’s details
You’ll also need to provide descriptions of your use cases and sample messages for each type of campaign you run.
The vast majority of Textel clients typically fall into one (or more) of four campaign use case types. Those are:
Sole Proprietors. This campaign type is available for customers who don’t have an EIN/tax number. These customers are limited in their throughput.
Customer Care. These texts include customer interactions, including account management and customer support.
Marketing. This type of campaign use case includes marketing or promotional content. That might be sales notifications, discount codes, and the like.
Higher Education. This is messaging on behalf of colleges or universities, but also includes school districts and any educational institution. This use case is not for the “free to the consumer” messaging model.
If you select more than one of these use cases, your campaign choice will be registered as “Mixed.”
Other standard use cases may include:
Fraud Alert Messaging
Low Volume Mixed
Polling and Voting
Public Service Announcements
What Happens When My Registration is Submitted?
While your submission might sound a little overwhelming, don’t freak out – we’re here to help!
Once you’ve submitted your registration to us, we’ll work with our carrier partners to complete the registration process for you with The Campaign Registry. TCR will locate and confirm the existence of the company you submitted by checking against several databases and using best-practice, third-party verification vendors. The following information must be verified in order for your brand to obtain a “verified” status:
EIN/ Tax ID
Legal Company Name
Legal Company Address
The check will also look to see:
If your brand is a tax-exempt organization if the “non-profit” entity type is selected
If your brand is part of the Russell 3000 list.
It can take up to five days for verification, depending on volume and approval times. It’s important to note that accuracy matters. Any typos or outdated information can significantly affect your verified status.
If your brand fails the vetting process, you’ll need to resubmit your data, correcting any inaccuracies or inconsistencies.
If you choose not to register, your text message traffic will be subject to filtering and may be blocked or rejected.
Here are a few resources to make registering your business a little easier:
Time is money. It’s a cliché, yeah. But think about it: How much time and call center efficiency is your team losing in a day to long-winded calls? What about the endless games of phone tag, calls sent to the wrong person, or clicking around outdated or irrelevant software just to find updated customer information?
Consider how you’re using time in your call center and you’ll find that call center efficiency drives both customer retention and profitability. By giving more time back to your call center agents, you save (and make) more money.
According to a recent survey by PwC of 1,300 global CEOs, 77% say their primary focus is creating operational efficiencies and driving revenue growth. Leaders recognize that making processes run smoothly will improve their business and contribute to a better customer experience all around.
But, where does this extra time come from? What processes need to be smoothed over? With a few tricks up your sleeve and some operational changes, your call center can improve efficiency. To help, we’ve gathered a few handy tips to make sure your call center efficiency flourishes.
Call Center Efficiency Tip No. 1: Clean up your agents’ workflows.
A client calls in — they need the documentation and follow up notes from their latest appointment with you. When you go to look for it, their profile wasn’t updated. So you go to the folder that holds all customer notes. But when you open it, it’s an utter mess. Maybe you can reach out to the manager the customer had met with. How did they say to reach out? By Slack? Can you transfer the call straight to them? Or is that a big no no. Meanwhile, the customer is sitting on hold, growing annoyed.
Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common for call center agents. One of the trickiest things about being a customer service rep is finding the information you need to help your customer. According to Aberdeen, agents spend 14% of their time looking for information to help customers.
Daily, agents also face roadblocks in their work. As many as 39% say that it’s tough to collaborate, 26% say they’re dealing with outdated tech and 25% don’t have real-time access to relevant data. All of these roadblocks waste time and harm customer relationships. So what can you do?
Take time to clean up processes and workflow for your call center agents. Here are some areas to focus on:
Develop a clear organizational chart. Make it clear who is responsible for what, what resources are available to agents, and how they should be contacting outside help when it’s needed. Meet with team leads in other departments to establish what will work best across the company. Breaking down those silos between teams will also build internal support between departments.
Decide how you will prioritize support. Do you help customers on a first-come, first-serve basis? Or can you prioritize by customer issue, status or channel choice? Know how you’ll determine these things so you can organize your team around your customer needs.
Regularly clean up. Use idle time as a team to clean up files and resources or set a quarterly goal to update info. Make sure internal tools, customer profiles, and your knowledge bases are up to date.
Use self-service tools to take some of the pressure off your agents. Build an FAQ page or help guides and videos to send to customers quickly to answer their most common questions.
Call Center Efficiency Tip No. 2: Train for the team you want to be.
Let me give you a tip: call center efficiency is not only about how your agents perform. As the manager, you’re responsible for training your team to be the best they can be. During initial onboarding and whenever you have downtime as a team, prioritize training. Use any spare time to train and coach to be the team you want to be.
Here are some ways to do just that:
Run through workflows together and role-play different scenarios so you know your agents know what to do in different situations.
Create training resources — e-books, videos, and internal articles — to serve as a reference for your agents.
Set team meetings monthly or quarterly to talk through new issues or scenarios that your team is encountering. Or take that time to train on new technology or processes to make sure you’re always on the same page.
Set up 1:1 meetings as often as possible to check on individual agent performances.
Call Center Efficiency Tip No. 3: Lean on automation when you can.
Automation technology is becoming increasingly popular in call centers. Automation, when used wisely, makes tedious tasks manageable for your call center team. Free your agents from menial tasks like routing customers on call to the right person, sending self-service articles to customers, or auto-filling customer information. Bots are ideal for guiding customers to serve themselves. Then, no customer gets neglected or left waiting in the process.
When your agents aren’t bogged down with tedious duties, they have more time to focus on complicated customer interactions. A robot can’t always help customer situations when empathy and emotional intuition are needed. But they can help your team prepare for each interaction by predicting how customers will respond to an email or on a call. Automation is available for you to cut out the tedious and tricky elements of call center work, leaving space for better agent performance, efficiency, and development.
Call Center Efficiency Tip No. 4: Add texting to your omnichannel solution.
Customers want to reach your business in the way that’s most convenient for them. Your goal is to offer a customer experience that meets your customers’ needs, and a seamless omnichannel solution lets your customers choose their preferred communication channel and know there won’t be hiccups along the way. My tip for better call center efficiency? Add texting to your suite of channels.
Pew Research estimates that texting is the most widely and frequently used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans texting at least once a day. (But let’s be honest — most of us text way more than once a day.) For a more efficient call center, add texting to optimize your agents’ time. Texting is a fast and flexible channel for both your customers and your agents. With texting, your team can help multiple customers on text threads simultaneously instead of being trapped on the phone with just one customer at a time.
This inevitably lowers your call volume, opening up time for agents on the phone to help the more complicated customer cases via phone.
This post originally published September 20, 2018 and was updated on June 30, 2022.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane back to high school. You’re writing an essay for your English class and remember what your teacher had said about the introduction paragraph — it has to have a “hook.” Something needs to grab your reader’s attention or they won’t have a reason to keep reading.
Ok, so you’re not in high school English classes anymore (thank goodness!), but I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t abandon that advice from your teacher. When you’re communicating with any audience, you want to make an impression. Especially when you’re trying to engage your customers, your writing needs to catch their attention and hold it.
This concept is especially important when you’re writing an SMS message to send to your customers. While SMS is a great channel in terms of reaching customers with speed and flexibility, you only have a handful of words to make the message truly worthwhile. With 160 characters or so to capture your customer’s eye, you have to make deliberate choices to make the writing effective. We’ve put together a list of six helpful tips to writing a more effective SMS message to make the most of each text sent.
1. Treat your first few words like a subject line.
When a text pops up on my phone, I can’t avoid the impulse to glance down and skim the first few words of the message. In just that glance, I can sense the tone and can decide whether I want to open that text right away or if it can wait. Is a friend in need? Does my sister need me to babysit again?
When you send an SMS message to your customers, always consider what they will see as the preview in their message inbox or on their notification screen. Treat the first few words as you would an email subject line: it’s the customer’s first impression before they open the text. Intentionally use powerful words (e.g., “explore,” “start,” “level up,” etc.), short sentences, or the customer’s first name through dynamic parameters to catch attention.
Just this morning I had a promotional SMS message from a politician pop up on my Apple Watch. The copy was wordy and the text was long. I don’t have time for that! Without a thought, I opened my phone and immediately deleted it. Attention spans are short, so when you send a text to your customers, get to the point quickly to ensure you capture their attention.
In general, the shorter the text, the better. That rule is especially when you’re sending a proactive text to your customers. Keep the copy between 75-115 characters, or 3-4 lines long. Make sure your texts still look professional and are easy to understand by all age groups. Once you use big complicated words, long sentences or unnecessarily abbreviate words, you’ll lose your audience.
3. Use visuals.
If the goal is to catch the eye of your customers, add in visuals where you can. MMS messaging makes texting customers much more interesting. Add in multimedia like images, GIFs, video, and audio to make your messages pop. Images are a fun way to give your messaging personality and flair.
Create attractive graphics that catch your customers’ eyes if they’re quickly scanning a text.
Graphics can be used to communicate important information like discount codes or upcoming sales. When you add movement to an image — like as a GIF — this too will make your text stand out.
4. Express gratitude.
The customers on your opt-in list are likely to be some of your most loyal. And your loyal customers want to feel valued and cared for. So why not use every opportunity you can to express your thanks to them?
When you send a text out, make sure your customers feel appreciated. Use expressions of gratitude in your text copy to build a connection with your customer base, even when you’re just sending an appointment reminder or a discount code. Add in phrases like “you’re the best, we appreciate you, your loyalty has paid off, thanks for being our customer” to boost engagement and interest in your brand and in your SMS message.
Part of capturing your customers’ attention is to use some urgency in your writing. Powerful, emotional words and short sentences can effectively communicate when there is a time-sensitive event like a sale or low-inventory. Plus, most of your customers are going to be on the go when they receive your message. To add timely language in, use phrases like “this weekend, starting now, almost over, today only” so your customers want to open and read your text right when it shows up on their phone.
6. Assume your customer knows nothing… but also that they’re not stupid.
There’s a fine line between coming across as helpful to customers and being patronizing. The tone of a message can determine whether your customers stick around or not. Avoid over-explaining and address your customers like they’re adults…because, more than likely, they are! You don’t have to start at square one when explaining your product or a sale to your customers, but keep the language accessible.
Be mindful when writing copy for your customers to not make them do additional work just to understand what they’re reading. Write instructions and descriptions simply and logically. Then, read and re-read before sending. Send a test text out just to your team internally to make sure the message hits right. Or, test it on a safe outsider to the brand to get their first impression before you blast it to hundreds of your customers.