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:
ST. LOUIS, June 23, 2022 – Textel, the fastest and most reliable full-service, cloud-based texting platform for businesses and contact centers, announced an expanded partnership with NICE (Nasdaq: NICE) CXone to bring its innovative texting services to NICE’s international customers. By replacing the need for phone calls, Textel’s advanced texting platform lets users worldwide increase revenue while dramatically reducing operational costs.
“We’ve had a successful partnership with NICE CXone in North America, and we are excited to expand it internationally,” said Brandon Pineda, channel director at Textel. “Combining the solutions of Textel and NICE CXone, the ROI and benefits to businesses have been truly remarkable.”
Built seamlessly into NICE’s CXone platform, Textel’s integration lets users have flexible, two-way dialog with their customers via SMS and MMS. This lets customers communicate faster and more efficiently than on traditional channels (email, voice, chat). With features like skills-based routing, agent-initiated and blast outbound capabilities, agentless textbots, Interactive Text Response (ITR), call deflection, and group texting functionality, agents can oversee multiple interactions simultaneously. And, with full transcript reporting and analytics, managers have the tools they need to coach agents.
Textel was recently awarded the DEVone Application Certification. The distinction assures NICE CXone customers that Textel’s innovative cloud texting and MMS is a trusted solution that meets specific quality, performance, and security requirements upon technical integration.
NICE’s CXone platform takes a holistic approach to improve both agent and customer experiences, helping organizations of all sizes modernize and remain agile and resilient in today’s increasingly digital landscape with omnichannel routing, analytics, workforce optimization, automation, and artificial intelligence.
Darren Rushworth, President, NICE International, said, “We are excited to grow our partnership with Textel and offer our international customers another channel to communicate with their consumers via Textel, the gold standard of texting. Growing the number of channels to reach consumers promotes more opportunities for a frictionless customer experience.”
Founded in 2014, Textel is the rapidly growing texting platform for businesses and contact centers that is specifically designed to enhance the customer experience, increase customer engagement, improve contact center performance, and drive revenue. With over 1,500 customers around the world, Textel helps companies communicate faster and more efficiently than traditional channels (email, voice, chat). Visit Textel on LinkedIn and Twitter.
With NICE (Nasdaq: NICE), it’s never been easier for organizations of all sizes around the globe to create extraordinary customer experiences while meeting key business metrics. Featuring the world’s #1 cloud-native customer experience platform, CXone, NICE is a worldwide leader in AI-powered self-service and agent-assisted CX software for the contact center – and beyond. Over 25,000 organizations in more than 150 countries, including over 85 of the Fortune 100 companies, partner with NICE to transform – and elevate – every customer interaction. www.nice.com
A few years ago, I worked at a company that built software for dental offices. Our system helped front offices schedule patients, dictate Explanations of Benefits and process insurance. Yes, it was as riveting as it sounds. (I’m lying. It was, of course, boring to market and sell. But it was a vital product that seriously helped people and their dental offices.)
Anyway, one day when my team and I were heads down working on documentation for our up-and-coming self-service portal, there came a massive explosion. In seconds, the building was covered in smoke and everyone learned what the one thing they’d grab if ever they were caught escaping a fire. (For me, it was my gallon of water and lunch box. Most everyone else grabbed their car keys. One guy grabbed the ping pong paddle and shoved a ball in his pocket. Humans are weird in emergencies.)
As we were evacuating, we realized something. No one had a way to tell our customers we’d been unceremoniously thrusted out of our building for the afternoon. Calls, questions and issues were building by the minute and we had to sit idle until we could access our compliant devices again.
If only we had a mass text app.
Mass texting is like sending a bulk email. When you send out a mass text, you’re not starting a massive group text with all of your customers (that would be bonkers!). Instead, a mass text app helps you to broadcast information – like an emergency plan after your building undergoes an extremely unexpected explosion. And, it lets you send out the info to all of your customers, simultaneously as individualized messages.
Maybe most companies don’t endure such dramatics in their day-to-day. But a mass text app is still insanely helpful in more situations than just unexpected emergencies. Imagine this: your site is having some issues and isn’t letting purchase orders go through. You want to protect against your customer service team getting slammed with calls and emails. So you send out a proactive message. You hit them with a text that they’ll actually open (usually within the first three minutes of its arrival). You’re proactively protecting your customers from endless frustrations and saving your agents time and energy in a stressful situation.
These, of course, are just a couple of use cases for mass texting. It’s important that your mass text app gives you lots of functionality for you to use it to the fullest. So to help you get the most out of your mass text app, we’ve gathered a list of six features to look for so you’re getting the most bang for your buck!
6 Must Have Features to Look for in a Mass Text App
Automation can be a lifesaver when your customer service team has their hands full. Often, you don’t want to draft and send a text right away. Instead, with scheduling, your team can create text campaigns in their down time and schedule them for a future date.
Plus, by scheduling messages in advance, you can make your mass text campaign more strategic. This way each message gets sent when it will attract the maximum attention from your customers. Send personalized promotions to customers by scheduling texts to send on customer birthdays or for special events. And you can prepare and run automated recurring campaigns to send on a biweekly or monthly cycle.
2. Text Throttling
With text throttling, control and limit the number of text messages sent at one time through your mass text app. This feature can be beneficial when you anticipate a message you send will receive a big response. For example, maybe you have a product update you want to notify customers about, but don’t want to get customer responses all at once. To avoid overwhelming your customer service team with responses, you can select the speed at which you want to send your texts. For example, send:
5 texts per minute
50 texts per minute
500 texts per minute
1,000 texts per minute
So let’s say you were to send an announcement about a deal to 3,000 customers and were expecting a response rate of 10%, you wouldn’t want to receive 300 replies at once. But, if you instead used scheduling to deliver 300 messages every hour, it would throttle the customers’ response rate and relieve your team of being overwhelmed.
3. Mass Text App MMS
The best mass text app lets you send more than just SMS. With multimedia messaging, your service team can include photos, videos, and other files in your messages. Bypass steps and save time in helping your customers by sending out images or how-to videos to multiple contacts to walk customers through the product.
Or use MMS messaging and have your sales team send product demos to select groups of prospects or renewal customers. With more dynamic messages, your texts will stand out to customers and they’ll be more likely to engage with your content.
4. Lists and Segments
A mass text app isn’t really that useful if you can’t guarantee who your messages are going to. Use lists and segmentation to ensure you’re sending the right messages to the right people. As you add to your opt-in list, you’ll start to notice that you don’t want to send every text to every customer. For example, if you’re trying to reach out to customers who haven’t scheduled a hair appointment yet on their usual cadence, you don’t want to also text the customers who are already booked.
You pay for every text you send out, so it makes sense to reach customers with an appropriate message that will deliver ROI and make for a more personal experience. Find a mass text app that makes it simple to sort contacts into subgroups based on purchase history, keywords, interests so you can manage what message goes out to which customers.
5. Custom Fields
Texting should feel personal. One of the biggest benefits of texting your customers is that it gives you an avenue to reach them in a personalized way. To lean into personalization, make sure your mass text app lets you customize your interactions. With custom fields, add personal names, order details or delivery dates into your mass texts. That way, the text a customer receives feels more like it was catered for them specifically, helping your brand stand out even more.
6. Reporting and Analytics
It’s no good to go through the hassle of adding a new communication channel with customers if you have no way of knowing how it’s performing. Whether you use mass texting for marketing purposes, to do proactive customer support, or to reach new sales prospects, you need ways to know how contacts are responding and how your team is performing.
How many of your customers are responding with keywords or opening your links? How many customers are reaching out via text for support? These are the questions that your metrics and reports can help answer. Find a mass text app that provides easy-to-consume, customizable reporting features that give you insight into how your campaigns are working.
To make sure your SMS messaging platform actually adds value to your company, you have to watch the right metrics. Read more about which 5 metrics you should be tracking to find success.
For a while now, it’s been clear that texting isn’t just another way to connect with old friends and family. Texting has also become the preferred channel for customers to reach businesses and vice versa. Primarily, businesses and customers alike are seeing how reliable texting is for efficient and effective communication. As many as 60% of customers read texts within 1-5 minutes after receiving them. And the average SMS open rate is 5x higher than your typical business email. Customers are eager to reach you and hear from you via text.
In a world where communication remains a crucial part of any business’ strategy, texting can be an effective way to build business, improve consumer-to-business relationships, and enhance your brand. But it can be tricky to know what works in business text messaging. We need examples.
As the youngest in my family with three older siblings, I spent a majority of my life looking to my older family members as examples: What’s cool to wear? What music should I like? What should I not do to avoid getting in trouble with mom and dad? We naturally look for examples to understand how to grow and thrive. The same goes for our businesses. We look to good examples for how to grow and thrive with our customers.
So we’ve gathered a list of some of the companies who are leading by example. These are some of the best business text message examples out there. Ready to get inspired?
Suntrup Automotive Group has been servicing and selling cars in the St. Louis area since 1957. As a reflection of their amazing customer service, Suntrup was honored with the Women’s Choice Award for being one of America’s Best Car Dealerships for customer service and continues to strive for excellence in every aspect of their business. One way Suntrup maintains excellence is by opening communications between their service team and their customers with business texting.
To streamline communication at their dealership, Suntrup uses business texting to keep customers in the loop. Here’s how:
When a car gets serviced and is ready for pick up, the service advisor sends a text out from their computer to the customer notifying them that their car is ready or asking for approvals. The customer then has an easy way to chat back and forth with the service advisor — able to ask questions, give approval for work, or schedule a pick up. There’s no need to play phone tag or get bogged down with emails. With online texting, Suntrup can shave off over 40 hours of work every month, cut back on interruptions, and build customer trust.
I love to travel, but the process of flying stresses me out. I know I’m not alone in this. Every time we prepare to get on an airplane, there’s a lot to keep track of: security lines, boarding passes, baggage claim ticket, boarding time. I’m getting stressed just thinking about it. So as soon as I book a flight, I’m quick to download the app of whichever airline I’m on so I can check-in as soon as possible, look up my boarding time, check my gate, etc. Delta, though, relieves stress and helps me to be a step ahead in how they use business text messaging.
Delta Air Lines continues to earn accolades from customers for its outstanding customer service in the U.S. and around the world, frequently dubbed the best overall customer service airline. One way they stand out is through meeting their customers on the go. Here’s how they do so:
Delta keeps customers up to speed with any changes during the customers’ journey. When you sign up for texting from Delta, any time a flight change or gate change occurs, you’ll get a text from Delta with all the info you need immediately, no matter where you are. Customers can avoid showing up to the airport to find their flight delayed. Instead, they’ll know as soon as the airline makes the call, saving customers stress and time.
Delta also made another industry-leading move with business texting. To connect with customers in their channel of choice, Delta integrated messaging in their app with Apple messaging, letting customers connect with a live Delta representative to get in-the-moment assistance. Instead of sitting on hold for two hours after a flight gets canceled, customers can text a Delta rep using the phone in their back pocket.
Ginger Bay is dedicated to providing the best salon and spa experiences for men and women. In fact, they are so good at it that they’ve been named a Top 200 Salon & Spa in the nation from Salon Today Magazine for 21 years.
With no change to your existing phone service, Ginger Bay implemented business texting to stay in contact with scheduled clients, send alert notifications, and send out call-to-action marketing:
Ginger Bay uses texting to communicate with customers. But aside from just using it to schedule and manage customer appointments, Ginger Bay drives customer engagement as well. Using Textel, Ginger Bay sends texts to customers to offer promotions, keeping customers loyal and interested. To do so, they release a keyword for their guests to text their salon phone number by a certain time to receive seasonal gift card promotions, bonus points related to a loyalty program, or discounts on products. During one promotion cycle, they received over 300 texts in 45 minutes! With this example, we see how one business text message keeps customers coming back to your brand over and over.
I have horrible eyesight. And for years, I’ve gone from one pair of glasses to the next, trying to find the right pair that I will actually want to wear. But then I tried Warby Parker. Warby Parker makes buying glasses easy — offering Home Try-On so customers can give five pairs of glasses a trial run before committing. Warby Parker has also made it their mission to offer a cohesive omnichannel experience, adopting business text messaging as a customer service tool. Here’s how they use texting to assist their customers:
Glasses are an expensive online purchase with a lot of details involved: health insurance, prescriptions, returns, exchanges. Making that kind of purchase online means customers need access to help at nearly any time of the day, and quickly during their purchase. Warby Parker has made it incredibly easy to get help, offering live chat, email, phone, self-service, and text support. When you need someone to answer a question, customers can just click on the “text” icon on their website and open a text thread within their phone or laptop’s messaging app.
The brand also has some fun with their SMS support. Back in 2017, Warby Parker invited customers to text their “Costume Council” to get ideas for what to wear for Halloween that year. In using text message support in this way, Warby Parker inspired interest in their brand and kept current customers engaged.
This post originally published on June 29, 2018 and was refreshed and republished on June 2, 2022.