Employee turnover is a perpetual sore spot for contact centers. The average turnover in the contact center industry hovers around 30-45% which means managers are consistently on the hunt for new hires. For the employees that stay, increasing call volumes compound their already maxed out workload. Fortunately, if contact centers implement some texting best practices, they can keep volumes at manageable levels even if they’re temporarily short-staffed.

#1. Create Awareness About Texting

More people prefer to interact with businesses via text over calls and emails. The only problem is, they may not realize they can text you. A great way to educate them is to introduce the ability to text when they call. Upload a sound clip at some point during your call flow and inform them they can now interact via text.

Informing customers about texting doesn’t reduce the volume of customer interactions, but it does lay the groundwork for other best practices that do – more on that later.

#2. Deflect Calls Using Text Within Your IVR

Traditionally, contact centers set up their IVRs so callers could get the information they needed (e.g., check shipping status, bank account balance, hours of operation, etc.) without connecting with an agent. The problem is, because traditional call deflection relies on voice, its effectiveness depends on call quality and how well the caller can remember the information given. Ultimately, this risks a poor customer experience.

Embedding texting within your IVR solves that. Information can be sent quickly and clearly via text. Best of all, customers can refer back to past text messages for information rather than repeatedly calling.

#3. Leverage Canned Text Responses

Getting your customers texting solves the call volume issue but doesn’t completely solve for agents’ bandwidth if they just overwhelm them with texts – canned text responses solve this. Canned responses act exactly as they do with web chat, in that they allow agents to respond to common phrases and frequently asked questions with preset responses.

The key is to work with your agents to determine the most common phrases and questions and to come up with the approved response. Equally important is organizing the canned text responses appropriately so that an agent can easily find and click the appropriate response.

#4. Don’t Forget Auto Replies

Auto replies alleviate agents’ capacity by using keywords and even the time of day to automatically send text responses to customers.

#5. Use Text as a ChatBot

Texts can gather information that would normally be an agent’s burden to collect. They also capture information accurately and can be used to determine whether to connect a customer to a live agent.

For example, a Textel customer in higher education used Textel’s chatbot to live agent feature to qualify prospective students before connecting them to an enrollment advisor.

#6. Enable Simultaneous Text Interactions

Texting allows agents to speak to multiple customers at one time. Contact center managers can designate the number of simultaneous conversations an agent can handle. Based on Textel’s research, four conversations are the average number an agent can effectively handle.

#7 Simplify Your Tech Stack

Onboarding agents to support texts is much easier if they can use the same tools they’re used to already. Textel works with the leading contact center as a service (CCaaS) solutions in the market like NICE inContact and Genesys, with more on the way. By embedding Textel seamlessly in these solutions, agents have one application to manage their calls, chats, and texts.

Learn more about Textel here.