A story about Contact Center Software

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

What are the advantages of SMS integrations in your contact center

Do you use SMS? I mean personally? Probably you do. And your kids, they certainly will use it. SMS (Short Messaging Service) has exploded in the last couple of years. Guess how much SMS messages are send? Over 2 billion! And this is not per year. Not per month. Not per week. It is per day! Which is slightly less than 25,000 messages every second. Amazing, isn't it, for a service that didn't exist five years ago.
Until now, the usage of SMS in communicating with businesses or customers has been rather limited. This is probably because there are some restrictions in the use of SMS:
  • No long or complex messages
  • Security concerns
  • No graphics, no printout possibilities
  • The ones frequently using SMS are not always your target group
  • Legislation
As you see, the SMS channel has some limitations. But you shouldn't use SMS as a channel alone. You should be incorporating SMS into other channels. I will give an example to make it clear: imagine that you have a call center for a computer repair service. When a client calls your contact center, a ticket is created. You should ask the clients' mobile number, and send an SMS with the ticket number. You then can explain the client that he can reply to the SMS, including the ticket number to get an updated status report. Furthermore, when the computer is repaired, he will get another SMS with detailed information about the cost and where to pick it up.
The net result of this will be less calls to your call center, while the client will be satisfied, knowing that he will be notified when his computer is ready. Except for the first interaction, it is all self-service. What else do you need in your contact center? A call to a contact center is costing on average 8 €; an SMS will probably be somewhere below 0,40 €. Up to you to do your ROI calculations. I think you'll switch to SMS for some services pretty quickly!
Of course, don't think that you can use SMS for everything. You will need to see whether an SMS is the right channel for passing the information and do some interviews with customers in order to verify this, but once you found the right match you will see an increase in client satisfaction and a decrease in cost. Plus you are building a better relationship with your clients - they can get up to date information whenever they want. And if you don't forget to add the SMSes into the customer history, your agents will have a 360 degree overview of the client - and can give a better reply.
If you want to know when your contact center will be ready, just contact me. I will let you know (by SMS if you like) when your contact center will go live!


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