Texting reduces call volumes, especially when it’s used in tandem with an IVR to deflect calls. However, incoming texts require a response, which still demands time and effort. Text automation takes your messaging to the next level by kicking your message response time into high gear while increasing your availability.
What the Heck is Text Automation?
Text automation describes a set of features designed to reduce or remove the manual work required to respond to a text. Not all customer calls require a lot of time to resolve (like a Zappos employee a few years back who spent 10 hours, 43 minutes on one). Texting automation better utilizes agents by focusing on calls that require their expertise – not on the mind-numbing ones. That means happier agents, faster response times for simple questions, and a better customer experience in general.
Textbot to Live Agent
If you’re familiar with chatbots, textbots are the same thing but over text. Just as chatbots reduce the need for a live agent to chat, textbots can save agents from needing to respond to every text. It can also gather the necessary information from a customer before passing the text over to a live agent. For example, a textbot can:
- Gather essential account information like customer name, account number, or phone number.
- Collect demographic information like location, age, education, or marital status.
- Qualify or disqualify a customer based on GPA, income, projected purchase date.
Once customers respond to a textbot, it can check to make sure the customer correctly provided the information. For example, if the textbot asked someone for their age, and the person replied, “Mars,” the textbot would recognize this as an invalid response and ask for clarification.
Auto replies respond to texts immediately. You’ve probably already encountered an auto-reply message over a phone call if you tried calling someone after hours (“Thanks for calling [name of business]. We are currently closed. Our hours are…”). Auto replies via text operate the same way and, yes, an everyday use for it is to respond to texts received after regular business hours.
While it might sound like a minor feature, auto-replies are essential to the customer experience. Imagine texting a business’s phone number and getting no response. It would make you immediately wonder whether the number was valid. Worse, a non-response could make you think that the business had terrible customer service. Auto-replies create trust between your business and your customers.
Quick replies give your agents a powerful tool to resolve common issues quickly. Rather than typing up a response to a customer question, agents can select from several canned responses – all the agent has to do is click the response and hit send.
If possible, use your team’s reporting tools (whether from a contact center tool, CRM, etc.) to analyze common questions. If that’s not available, ask your team. A best practice is to create quick replies by skill level. That way, your agents only see quick replies applicable to the questions they receive.
It’s That Easy
Automated texting has a massive impact on your customer experience. Fortunately, implementing them in your communications is pretty straightforward. If you still find the idea of text automation intimidating, don’t worry – Textel can help you every step of the way.
Learn more about Textel here.