This post is co-written with Leslie O’Flahavan of E-WRITE.
If your customers have opted-in to receive texts from your company, they probably realize that some of your texts are going to be automated. They understand that sometimes texts from your company were sent by an automated system and that you don’t actually have a human employee, chained to a desk, hand-typing each appointment confirmation or loyalty program welcome message!
However, even if your texts to customers are automated, they shouldn’t sound mechanical. Here are ten tips to help you write automated texts that sound human and build rapport with your customers.
The rise of messaging for business communication has taken the world by storm, and your contact center needs to be ready to respond. But first, you need to make sure you’re responding on the right channels.
Research done by Harris Poll and commissioned by OneReach found that over 60% of customers would rather text than call your business for support. With texting, customers can get a faster, more efficient response to their questions. This value can be seen within customer communications, as well as internal workforce communications.
As we look back on 2015, it’s tempting to refer to that age-old adage: “The more things change, the more things stay the same.”
This year, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
That’s because 2015 was the year the technology really made its presence known in customer service. Automation, artificial intelligence, social media, CRM integrations, texting–all were major customer service trends in 2015.
There are 7.125 billion people in the world. Each person is a unique, complex individual with their own likes and dislikes. Unfortunately, less than 50% of global businesses offer personalized customer service, despite a desire from 70% of customers. And while 69% of customers expect businesses to link communication channels together in real time, only 38% of businesses offer that.
However, there’s an inherent danger in generalizing global customer service, partly because expectations vary from country to country. For example, in Japan, customers experience omotenashi, or the absolute dedication of service to a customer and their needs. In South Africa, customer service employees are expected adhere to the principles of Batho Pele (People First), which include high levels of courtesy and service standards. But in Eastern Europe, customer service representatives view service as more of transaction than a relationship, putting customers on hold without asking and addressing customers in a direct manner.
But meeting cultural expectations is just one of the many challenges of global customer service.
Continue reading How to Provide Great Customer Service Across the Globe
This post was co-written with Leslie O’Flahavan of E-Write.
Text messaging isn’t just for pushing parking meter reminders or announcing severe weather. Ahead-of-the-curve companies are using text for two-way communication with customers. At a Denver coffee shop, customers can place their orders and pay by text. A large Midwestern university uses a text messaging service to solicit data from people participating in a long-term study on smoking. A technology company enables customers to troubleshoot software problems via text messaging. Members of a trade association can text their questions about membership levels, how to reset their passwords, and more.
While it may be true that almost anyone can write a text – Just left work. I’ll B home by 6:30 – companies that exchange texts with customers must write great texts: clear, readable, and worthwhile. Follow these business texting etiquette tips, and your company will be able to deliver a great customer experience in under 160 characters.
In the past, business SMS focused on marketing programs and simple notifications. That’s changing. There is now significant consumer demand to text a business for customer support. This extends to the public sector–large cities are starting to provide text messaging services to their residents for 311 service. This is partially in response to consumer demand for texting for support: over 64% of Americans would rather text than call for help.
Nearly 300 cities across the nation have a 311 call system in place that citizens can contact, but only a handful of cities—New York City, Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Boston—have these numbers text-enabled. It costs cities an average of $3.40 to answer a phone call, whereas answering a text only costs 60 cents (and even less if the message is automated).
Continue reading Why Cities Should Let Residents Text 311
Customers today use an average of three channels to contact your business, and they usually have to start over when switching between each one. It’s a disjointed customer experience, one that can lead to unhappy customers and potentially a loss in business.
That’s why businesses today need to provide an omnichannel experience. It’s a fancy word but a straightforward concept: customers should be able to switch between channels while maintaining the context of their conversation. What’s more, they should be recognized by companies and delivered a service experience that’s tailored to them.
Continue reading [NEW EBOOK] The Seamless Experience
According to a recent Gartner report, “by 2015, at least 60% of Internet users will opt for mobile customer service applications as their first option.” This is a significant shift that brings with it enormous challenges and opportunities. Companies and brands that honor this “mobile first” preference must understand the intimate relationship that people have with their mobile device, and how their brand experience on these devices will shape the relationship they are building with each individual.
Continue reading SMS Customer Support: Mobile as the Preferred Service Channel
Omnichannel. I first heard the term from an analyst during an interview at an Enterprise Connect Conference where we were unveiling our SMS Contact Center solution. He told me that most contact center experts were no longer using the term “multichannel” but were instead opting for the cooler term “omnichannel”.
An omnichannel strategy is one that seamlessly supports customer needs whether they use phone, email, web chat, Twitter, Morse code or smoke signals. While the idea of being so-called “omnipotent” sounds aspirational, it is beyond the reach for most mortal contact centers.
Continue reading Your Omnichannel Strategy: Becoming Omnipotent
Companies generally provide tech support through phone or email, so when some companies began providing it through text messages, there was some anxiety. According to practicalecommerce.com, there are 4.3 billion people carrying SMS-enabled devices, and of those, 96% send text messages on a regular basis. Those who have used text-based tech support as opposed to the phone-based alternative typically prefer texting. A Harris Poll study found that 64% of customers who text prefer SMS to phone for customer service.
Continue reading How Text Tech Support Can Cut Back On Costs