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Why Contact Centers Need Text Messaging

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Why Contact Centers Need Text Messaging

November 13, 2014

By Alisen Downey,
TMCnet Web Editor

Millions of people today use text messaging. It’s convenient, as it doesn’t require the same level of interruption from one’s day that a phone call does, and it doesn’t exclude those without smartphones from using it. Furthermore, it is a direct, discrete and efficient means of contacting someone. Yet, despite these obvious benefits, the technology remains widely an untapped resource for many contact centers. With the new year around the corner, businesses should seriously consider integrating text messaging technology into their contact centers.

With text messaging, contact center agents are able to facilitate live, interactive dialogs, while also giving the many customers out there who prefer texting to phone calls a chance to reach out in way that feels more comfortable. There are also plenty of solutions out there to help contact centers set up automated texting services in addition to agent-assisted texting. Much like transitioning from an IVR or keypad-based menu to a live agent, texting can function much the same way for contact centers, so that customers can access the same information through SMS that they would through calling an automated menu, while still have the option to connect with a live person for assistance. Text messages that require special handling can also be transitioned to telephone calls with agents when necessary, further integrating the technology into a more unified communication solution.

But the potential of text messaging in the contact center isn’t limited to one-way communication. As easy as it is for customers to get in touch via SMS, it’s just as easy for businesses to reach out to their customers through text messaging for any number of marketing campaigns or convenience services. SMS outreach uses could include sending customers important notifications and status updates, authorizing payments and confirming transactions, taking polls, and more. All of these services can also be carried out automatically without the need of a live agent, offering contact centers a way to add a personalized customer service touch without giving agents more work.

On the legal side, text messaging can also be useful in validating phone numbers, managing opt-in and opt-out requests, and otherwise automating mobile consent from customers. This can help contact centers stay on the right side of compliance regulations such as the TCPA.

With so many clear uses for text messaging in the contact center, it’s surprising that more have not yet adopted it. It can enhance customer self-service options; reduce the need for manpower, and lower telephony costs while also boosting the customer experience and giving modern consumers more of the communications options they want.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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