In the U.S., companies lose over $62 billion a year for poor customer service. And customers today have increasingly high expectations for good service. In fact, teams surveyed by Hubspot agree that customers today are smarter and have higher expectations from customer service than they did even a year ago.
So what do modern customers want?
75% of customers expect service to be faster and more relevant. (Salesforce)
Response time is of the essence. Customers expect low wait times and quick service. (Intercom)
A personalized customer experience is now a must have. (Forbes)
74% of customers want to be able to use multiple channels to start and complete a transaction. (LXA)
Bottom line: Customers care about convenience and speed. Does your call center meet these expectations?
Just imagine: how much more profitable could your call center be if you used every minute of your day well? Where is there still room to increase customer satisfaction? If you saved just one hour a day – how would that impact your bottom line? Every day, call centers sacrifice valuable time to inefficient systems and dated processes. And when your service is inefficient, customers won’t question moving to your competitors.
Don’t lose customers in 2022. Instead, build a loyal customer base with these three call center efficiency tips.
Call Center Efficiency Tips
Tip #1: Don’t Waste Downtime
Call centers can get crazy busy. But, that busyness ebbs and flows. There are going to be those days where there’s just not much going on. What you do with your team during those slow days could make all the difference in your call center efficiency. In fact, wasted downtime in call centers equates to an approximate loss of $11,252 per agent per year in unnecessary operational expenses. Gah!
Let’s just say your team has read and responded to every email and your phone queue is short. Instead of allowing your employees to online shop for a half hour, use the downtime to deliver that personalized experience your customers want. Have agents send out proactive customer service messages to check on customers who have made a recent purchase. Or have agents draft handwritten thank you notes to your most loyal customers to make them feel special.
Maybe use the time to catch up on some 1:1 coaching time with your employees. Have training sessions ready to go so you can pull them out when the day is slow. Set up some time for agents to role play different customer scenarios to keep them on the top of their game. Keep an archive of recorded customer interactions from different channels and start group discussions about what went well or didn’t go well. With these tips, make good use of the spare time in your day and give your call center efficiency a boost.
Tip #2: Automate Tasks to Preserve your Agents’ Time
One of the most valuable call center efficiency tips is to automate wherever you can to lighten your agents’ work load and save tons of time. With modern automation, you can now locate and retrieve relevant customer information while your agents are interacting with a customer. This helps make your customer experience extremely personal.
Bots can help your agents determine a customer’s intent, identify up-selling and cross-selling opportunities, and help with monotonous tasks. With your AI handling the more tedious tasks in your call center, you also lower employee burnout as it frees up your agents to handle more complicated tasks more efficiently.
Integrate automation with your omnichannel communication so your AI can do the work of responding to customers with helpful tips and self-service tools. Set up automated messages via SMS or email to send promotions to customers or scheduling reminders, maintaining a consistent customer relationship.
Tip #3: Add Texting to your Omnichannel Communication to Retain Customers
As mentioned earlier, customers today want to know they can reach you through multiple channels. In addition to keeping customers happy, an omnichannel communication solution also maximizes your call center agents’ time.
But want to make your operations even more efficient? Add texting to existing channels like phone, email and chat. With texting, agents can easily manage multiple conversations at once, decreasing hold time and increasing customer satisfaction. Texting frees up your agents’ time from taking phone call after phone call with your customers. And it saves your customers time, giving them an option to get questions answered fast without waiting on hold or sitting through your IVR system.
Texts have open rates of around 98% while calls and voicemails often go unanswered. All the time you spend leaving voicemails for customers can be more efficient by sending out an automated or copied text message. Texting is personal, flexible, and incredibly fast. And it’s one of the more reliable ways to reach your customers.
Not convinced by the Call Center Efficiency Tips? Here’s what customers think:
Customers want to be able to text you. And you are more likely to reach them if you send them a text rather than an email. It impacts your wallet as well. It’s much cheaper to handle customers by text than over the phone. A Forrester study found that the average customer service phone call costs about $16, whereas the average text thread costs between $1 to $5 per interaction. With these call center efficiency tips, deliver a better customer experience, meet customer expectations, and save money.
Want to build efficiency and ease into your customer experience? Add business texting to boost your call center efficiency.
This post originally published on December 27, 2018 and was refreshed and republished on April 21, 2022.
When the rate of abandoned calls in your contact center is high, you’re likely to see other success metrics take a hit — like customer satisfaction and retention. We’ve all been there as customers ourselves: the looped recording of hold music is slowly making you lose your mind, and you’re just over it. So, you hang up. Your question is left unanswered and you’ve wasted a chunk of your day. It sure doesn’t leave you with the best impression of that company’s service.
But, how do you even begin to reduce abandoned calls in your call center?
Implement Business Texting to Exceed Customer Expectations
We’re all pretty tied to our phones. In fact, the average American spends a little above 5 hours daily on their mobile phones! To get even more specific, the top 10% of heavy phone users have an average of 5,427 touches on their mobile phones every day. And, 91% of Americans keep their mobile devices within arm’s reach at all times. Any time our phones light up, we’re quick to check out whatever the latest notification could be.
Within customer service, consumers are much more inclined to communicate through text on their phones with businesses than via email or phone calls. Specifically 85% of smartphone users prefer mobile messages to emails or calls. Why?
Recent studies show customers and leads respond to a text faster than anything else. On average per channel, you’ll see:
Overall, businesses are discovering the power of texting because it’s what customers are wanting!
Just think about it — texting is fast and personal. It lets customers send direct and specific questions to agents without interrupting their own day. And, it gives agents the freedom to respond to a customer’s question or problem while taking on several other texts, resolving more customer interactions, faster. The conversation is likely pretty casual, giving agents a chance to take a personalized approach with each customer.
Texting Erases Call Center Abandonment
It’s logical really. If you provide easy to use and accessible texting technology, your customers will likely choose texting over calling. In turn, you’re reducing the volume of calls even coming into your call center. When you provide customers a way to connect with you over text, you’re more likely to see your abandonment rate plummet.
We’ve seen it firsthand at Textel. Our friends and customers over at Vera Bradley switched to a two-way texting model to give their customers the option to text back and forth with agents using their existing business line. The result? Vera Bradley experienced a 0% abandonment rate while communicating over text.
Another pro of texting in your contact center is cutting down the overall inbound support volume. By a lot. Instead of calling or emailing in and hoping to get a reply – eventually – customers can text in and start an interaction with an Agentless SMS. You can pre-program automations to run when your customers text in, whether they’re sending a specific keyword or just general text or picture-based questions. Agentless SMS is getting greater adoption because:
It deflects incoming calls to text, which reduces your center’s average handle time (AHT) and calls on hold.
It doesn’t shift volume from one channel to another. Instead, it lets customers resolve their issues via text without requiring an agent.
So, then your phone support becomes cheaper and customer retention rises. Your agents can optimize their time while your call center helps more customers. Strengthen your two-way texting capabilities and see it benefit every aspect of your call center.
Abandon a Call-First Approach To Change the Game
Give your customers the freedom to decide how quickly and easily their interactions with your business will be. Give them what they want — the ability to text you. Customers are sick of waiting on hold. They’re tired of taking tons of time out of their day just to get a question answered. When you embrace the right channels and text-enable your call center, your call center team can reduce abandoned calls and retain customers.
This post was originally published on March 26, 2021 and was updated on February 2, 2022.
Tis the season to drive holiday sales through high-performing communication channels.
Trust us – it’s not just the egg nog making everyone merry. Call center texting is beginning to snowball as enterprise businesses focus on reaching their customers via text across their existing business lines.
After RetailMeNot reported that shoppers are ready to spend at least $60 more on gifts this holiday season than last year, retailers have been working to find creative ways to get in front of their consumers. Specifically, they’re looking for ways to stand out from their competitors and reach more consumers first, and more effectively.
RetailMeNot uncovered that 95% of those retailers believe that deals and discounts are the most effective way to drive purchases during this time of year. And it should come as no surprise that 72% of their marketing investment is happening across mobile.
Why? Because, it’s where their customers live!
It’s a fact that has caught the attention of more and more call centers as they try to produce an omnichannel communication platform that targets customers in the way they want to be contacted.
So, in an effort to make the holidays just a bit brighter for the call centers who still aren’t using text to enhance the customer experience, we offer these 5 gifts (or benefits) to using business texting to help ring in a successful new year.
5 Ways Business Texting for Call Centers Drives Holiday Sales
Get Your Customers’ Attention
First and foremost, you must reach your holiday shoppers on a channel they’re currently using. The good news is that text messages are opened 98% of the time and the recipient often takes action immediately after reading. Besides being optimized for response, this channel helps you communicate with the most consumers in the fastest way.
Invite Them Onsite for a Holiday Promotion
Customers are looking for an excuse to swing your way – give them a great one. Share your holiday promotion with customers and invite them to your business to be a part of something special. And just so they know exactly what awaits, send them a fun picture to further entice them to stop in.
Share an Exclusive Marketing Offer
If in-store business isn’t your forte, send them a text with a link to the special product that you know will catch their attention. With most sales happening across a mobile device, your job is to make it easy for customers by sharing an exclusive offer that keeps them from walking out into the cold and only requires them to set down their hot coffee and click to purchase.
Send Appointment Reminders to Reduce No-Shows
Guarantee sales by scheduling important automated text reminders that reduce no-shows by up to 50% according to Appointment-Plus. This easily enhances the customer experience by letting them know you’re excited about their arrival – plus, it saves lost revenue by giving them a chance to reschedule if holiday shopping has bogged them down and made them unavailable for the current time.
Create a Sense of Urgency to Propel Holiday Sales
The beauty of business texting for call centers is that you can alert customers to the sales they don’t want to miss without interrupting their day. These notifications do more than increase customer satisfaction, they prove helpful and thoughtful. Plus, when it’s followed up with a discount offer, customers will be further incentivized to add your product under the tree this holiday season.
Want to learn more about how call center texting can improve your bottom line this holiday season and all year long? Try Textel’s business texting platform today!
During this season of reflection and being thankful, customers are raising a glass to finally being able to text a contact center to get the answers they need. Talk about #blessed…
In 2018, more and more call centers are integrating two-way texting capabilities with their call center platforms to create the Omni-channel communication solution that not only improves the customer experience and optimizes their call center agents’ time, but also fattens up the bottom line.
Now that a conversation can seamlessly move between voice, chat, text or online messaging, contact centers are carving out more conversions and revenue where consumers can reach out and be contacted through their preferred channel.
Textel, a robust business texting service, quickly realized that businesses must go through a digital transformation in order to compete in today’s marketplace. This led them to create a functional, feature-rich texting solution that bolts onto an existing contact center communication platform.
Our integration sits at the application layer between the text carrier and the contact center platform to deliver a best-in-class solution for any business texting needs.
In fact, as more and more business texting results and research pour in, it seems texting and customer service pair together as lovely as mashed potatoes and gravy. Velocify even reported that texting during the sales process can lead to conversion gains of more than 100%. It’s a stat that businesses can’t afford to ignore, yet only half of contact centers have started utilizing text in their communication.
Serve Their Preferred Communication Channel on a Platter
NICE inContact, a premier cloud experience platform, partnered with Textel early to deliver better customer service by adding the function of text-enabling existing business phone numbers to their solution. Immediately upon implementing, brand-side clients who utilized this solution discovered that their customers were already texting them – they just hadn’t been getting through.
But more than just being in the right place at the right time, organizations are very thankful for the increased brand loyalty, significant cost savings and multiple contact center agent efficiencies that the resulting solution uncovered.
For instance, Forrester Consulting research showed that a $6-$20 call can now be switched to a text session that costs pennies on the dollar. Plus, Velocify goes on to say that when the right texting processes are in place for a call center, agents who send three or more purposeful text messages after contact has been made with a prospect are seeing increased conversion rates by 328%. #gobblegobble
Businesses Shouldn’t Be Waiting for the Leftovers
For contact centers, texting is the competitive advantage needed to win customers over easily and quickly. To that end, a messaging strategy with the right tools that fit into your existing platform is critical for success in the new year. Because if you don’t do it, your competitors will.
And since Twilio has shown that only 48% of businesses are actually equipped to handle messaging, it’s no surprise that brands who do (like Vera Bradley in our recent case study) are seeing incredible results right out of the gates, including decreasing call volume by 7%, turning one customer/one call into three customers at a time via text and experiencing a 0% abandon rate when using business texting.
They’re just the latest example of a business who wasted no time in integrating texting with their call center solution and are now feasting on the immediate benefits that followed.
A Harris Poll offers this incentive to get in the game ahead of your competitors: 64% of all consumers have a positive perception of a company that offers texting as a service channel.
So, what’s stopping you from pulling a seat up to the table? Call or text our team at 844-483-9835 and give your customers something to be thankful for!
Vera Bradley is touting impressive business results after adding Textel’s integration with NICE inContact’s CXone Business Line Texting Solution. See full press release and additional information here.
The exclusive women’s designer brand sells innovative handbags, fragrances, luggage and accessories across multiple distribution points in the U.S.A. In this B2C channel, eliminating any form of friction from the buying process proves paramount to capturing lost sales and driving additional revenue.
To capitalize on call center agent efficiency and reach more customers faster, Vera Bradley leveraged Textel’s two-way texting to better engage with customers via SMS and MMS on their existing contact center phone number. As a NICE inContact DevONE partner, Textel’s integration is available on the CXexchange marketplace and offers a quicker way to communicate with customers across an application that is very familiar for call center agents.
“It was paramount to have a cohesive application within the InContact platform,” said a representative from Vera Bradley. “Textel’s product works seamlessly through Central. Our Agents don’t even realize it’s a different product within the application.”
Vera Bradley recognized a very common issue with businesses that rely on being an easy point of contact for their customers: these customers may already be texting their toll-free number. To leverage this opportunity without confusing the market with a new number, Vera Bradley turned to Textel.
“Our biggest challenge was being able to enable our current toll-free number for our customers. We didn’t want to add a new number exclusively for texting. We were also unsure how many of our customers were trying to reach us through text messages. We thought it was happening, but there was no way to quantify it. Chat for us continues to grow 30-40% each year and we knew that Text was a natural path to explore.”
Their intuition proved correct as they immediately saw results. Upon text-enabling their existing toll-free number, Vera Bradley activated the Omni-channel communication solution their customers had been looking for all along.
At the initial rollout, call volume decreased by 7% allowing Vera Bradley’s contact center agents to work faster and more efficiently. Additionally, instead of one customer/one call, agents manage three customers at a time via text. And as more agents began interacting with more purchasing decisions, Vera Bradley experienced a 0% abandon rate when communicating over text.
“Our call volume has gone down this year, and we have increased efficiency from our Agents. Our productivity measures show increased efficiency and cost-savings. We can handle more contacts quicker, at a lower cost.”
Susan Campbell, Director of Customer Service at Vera Bradley, understood immediately how important customer communication can be to the bottom line:
“CXone with integrated Textel has helped us better communicate with our customers. The solution works seamlessly and our agents continue to work within a single, easy to use desktop environment. We know customer service expectations are at an all-time high and each customer service situation needs to be handled as efficiently as possible. We are thrilled that so many of our customers prefer to text with us.”
With customer service expectations always at the forefront, Textel and NICE inContact’s partnership lets brand-side customers seamlessly integrate texting into their existing workflow, uncovering the back-end efficiencies and driving the customer engagement that get real results for their business.
A seamless, easy-to-manage texting integration is the last thing standing in the way of delivering the quality customer support your call center deserves.
Studies have shown that customers prefer to text:
81% of consumers are frustrated being tied to a call or computer for support service
64% of consumers would prefer to use texting over voice as their service channel
77% of consumers have a better perception of a company that offers texting
Along with email, phone and chat features, is texting part of your customer communication strategy?
Let’s look at how Textel’s business texting for call centers rounds out your communication efforts by offering an exceptional brand experience, which translates to increased profits and employee efficiencies.
Since using Textel’s integration with NICE inContact Call Center solution, end users have significantly lowered their call volumes, increased net promoter scores and even generated more leads.
Meet Your Customers Where They’re Most Comfortable
“Texting plays a large role in your customer’s day to day life,” says Textel CMO, Mike Mixon. “While email has reached a fever pitch of spam and calls from unknown numbers are never answered, texts cut through the noise and are almost always read.”
Textel’s business texting tool provides the unique benefit of texting from your existing call center phone numbers. This not only adds credibility to the text and establishes trust, it allows you to take full advantage of the contact numbers you’ve already published.
As a business texting tool for call centers, Textel supports platform-level consent controls, CALEA compliance, message archiving and more to make two-way SMSa robust solution for call centers.
Working Smart with Business Texting Features for Call Centers
Along with using your existing call center numbers to send texts, Textel has built-in many impressive features that put the customer first, including:
Inbound Texts: Customer texts can be routed to agents based on agent skill.
Outbound Texts: Agents can initiate conversations or send out reminders.
Last Agent Routing: Besides viewing entire conversation history, you can route an inbound text to the last agent who supported the customer.
Mass Outbound Texting: Toll-free numbers can rapidly deploy mass text campaigns.
Multiple Conversations: Agents can manage multiple conversations across an easy-to-use interface.
In-depth Reporting: Measure volume, performance and trends
MMS: Add pictures, PDFs, gifs and even emojis to your messages
Implementing an SMS texting solution for your call center is easy. Simply choose your package and get started usingTextelto power A2P call center texting on your existing phone numbers..
Call or text 844-483-9835 to learn more about Textel’s simple to integrate, easy to activate call center texting solution.