An increasingly popular communication option, especially for younger generations, is text messaging. It’s their default communication channel. They prefer it over email and especially the phone, which they only use when they have no other options. Text messaging provides another channel for effective customer communications.
To realize success with texting, consider these items.
With a smartphone in hand, text messaging is easy to access, simple to use, and understood by most people. However, integrating texting into a business setting is tricky. For this to happen efficiently, without delays or cumbersome workarounds, and to customers’ satisfaction, you need software that will receive text communications, distribute the messages to available staff, and provide an easy-to-use interface for them to work fast and effectively.
Most people know how to text. However, this doesn’t mean your staff is ready to text with your customers. Providing texting service requires a different set of skills than handling phone calls or texting with friends. Text messaging agents must be able to read quickly, comprehend fast, and type with accuracy. They must also be able to multitask, so they can juggle multiple text sessions.
Training for texting in a business environment includes system training and instruction on your desired communication style. The style for personal texting, which is most casual, doesn’t carry over to business communications, yet following the stricter protocols for telephone calls or email service doesn’t apply either. Most companies want to bridge these two extremes with text communication, avoiding being too colloquial and too structured. This is a skill that text agents must learn and master for texting success. Don’t dismiss this essential step.
Don’t make the strategic mistake of only staffing texting agents when you expect to receive texts. To avoid irritating and alienating customers, you should staff for texting 24/7. True, you won’t get many texts after midnight, but you do want to be available when messages arrive. Unlike email, you can’t afford to sit on a text message until the next business day. To realize success, you must service text communications around the clock.
Fortunately you don’t have to handle text communications in-house. Just as with web chat, a BPO contact center has the staff and tools in place to receive and respond to text messages, just as they do with telephone calls and email messages.
You can outsource text messaging to a professional contact center, which does more than process phone calls. They can handle multiple communication channels (omnichannel), and they already have text capability built into their system and staffing. They can get up to speed fast and offer customer-pleasing texting results at affordable prices.
Direct Call Centers provides call center and contact center services to clients across the United States and around the world. Specializing in business process outsourcing (BPO), Direct Call Centers is your single source for essential contact center work and critical BPO support services, with a focus on four primary horizontal market niches: customer service, tech support, lead processing, and chargeback support. Get a free quote today to explore if Direct Call Centers is the right match for your company’s BPO needs. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer for the call center industry.