“SMS Text Messaging for Customer Service is the biggest no-brainer I’ve seen in my career.”
Andy Orr, President, Press-One
It’s no secret that SMS text messaging for customer service is the overwhelmingly popular communication choice for virtually every demographic category. The number of text messages sent each day is ten times the number of phone calls and emails combined! An overwhelming 81% of consumers tell us that they would prefer to communicate with companies they do business with via text messaging as opposed to phone calls or email. In fact, some demographic age groups tell survey takers that using their phone for a voice call is their least favorite activity involving their mobile device! Yet, very few companies allow text messaging as a communication choice for their customers.
That’s about to change!
Colorado based Press-One, a BPO contact center and software development company is pleased to introduce a new SMS contact center technology that allows text messages sent to any company’s existing phone numbers to be recognized as SMS (as opposed to voice) and delivered to Press-One’s contact centers in Colorado. From there, Press-One employs both a dedicated team of SMS text experts and a cadre of intelligent auto-bots that can quickly recognize and route incoming messages to ensure the fastest response times.
According to Press-One president, Andy Orr, “It’s unfortunate that so many companies spend so much money on attempting to improve the customer experience yet haven’t figured out that the very first step in improving the experience is allowing the customer to use their preferred method of communication to engage and interact with that company. Our technology allows companies to keep their existing telephone customer service functions and add text as a wholly separate communication protocol. It’s preferred. It’s cheaper. It’s documented. It’s the biggest no-brainer I’ve seen in my career. Companies serving consumers need to get on board before their competitors do.”
Orr states that because text messages don’t require immediate replies, staffing requirements are less and costs to companies are greatly lowered. “According to studies, most people consider approximately 6 minutes as an acceptable response time for text messaging. Try putting a customer who calls your company on hold for 6 minutes and see how acceptable they think that wait time is.” says Orr. Most contact centers operate around a goal of answering calls within a specific time frame. According to industry professionals, most companies and consumers consider answer times beyond 30-45 seconds as unacceptable. According to Orr, “Another benefit of text is that after doing the discovery to identify the customer’s reason for contacting the company, the representative is given the time and space to actually fix the problem. That is not always the case when you have a customer waiting on the other end of the phone. A customer will probably understand a text message that says, “Please give me a few minutes to look in to this and I’ll get back to you.” That same response may not end well with a customer who has called and waited on hold on their cell phone to get through to a representative.”
According to Orr, the technology is so new that some of his company’s customer base has been reluctant to introduce it until the technology has had time to be further vetted out. But, he’s confident that, within a few years, the majority of interaction between company and consumer will likely be handled via text. And, if text isn’t sufficient for handling some of the more complicated problems, as Orr says, “Our agents can simply push a button and enact a good, old-fashioned phone call. After all, we know the customer probably has their phone nearby.”