- Research indicates that a majority of customers want the ability to text your business to connect with you
- High-volume SMS means that companies can send text messages to many people at once
- The right contact center software enables high-volume SMS and incorporates it seamlessly into your workflows
One of the benefits of modern contact centers over traditional call centers is that today’s contact centers offer multiple channels to connect with customers. One of those channels is SMS.
In this article, we’ll explore why you need SMS for your contact center, with an emphasis on high-volume SMS. We’ll also discuss how to implement it at your contact center with some SMS best practices.
Why do you need contact center SMS?
Contact center SMS is an important channel because it enables companies to connect with customers quickly and cost-effectively. Companies can send text messages to customers (more on that later), and customers can text companies to reach their contact centers with questions or comments.
Research from Harris Poll reveals that 64% of customers want to text your business, while 44% of them would prefer texting with an agent to sitting on hold. Moreover, 23% of customers said they’d be loyal to a company that uses SMS to communicate with them.
What is high-volume SMS?
High-volume SMS means that companies can send text messages to many people at once. It uses application-to-person (A2P) technology. With A2P, an application queues up a message to thousands of customers and sends it out on a specified date and time.
You don’t need to purchase or program a separate number to send out large quantities of text messages – the application uses your existing number or extension. As a result, your company saves time and money to reach customers.
Why does your contact center need high-volume SMS?
With high-volume SMS, you can reach all of your customers at the same time. There are a variety of use cases for A2P messaging:
- Mass-marketing (for example, sending customers promo codes for upcoming sales)
- Automated messages or reminders
- Surveys or polls for customers
- Two-factor authentication for account access
- One-time passwords for new customers
It’s also important to note that SMS messages are a highly effective way of reaching customers. Text messages have a 98% open rate, whereas the open rate for emails is around 20%.
How can you implement high-volume contact center SMS?
The answer lies in choosing the right technology. RingCentral’s contact center software allows companies to send thousands of messages to customers at once. Users can send messages through RingCentral, so they don’t have to involve the IT department.
High-volume contact center SMS best practices
Putting high-volume contact center SMS technology in place is the first step to ensuring you reach your customers in a cost-effective, efficient way. The second step involves implementing SMS best practices for messaging success.
These SMS best practices include:
- Consider compliance
- Track responses
- Be clear as to why you’re texting
- Keep the message short and sweet
- Provide value in every message
- Don’t text too often
When you’re sending text messages at scale, consider compliance with existing local and federal rules about communicating with customers. There are also industry guidelines in place to prevent customers from receiving unwanted communications from companies.
This is where choosing the right contact center SMS solution comes into play. RingCentral’s A2P messaging complies with restrictions and guidelines to ensure that only customers who have opted in receive messages from you.
Let’s say you send a mass-message, and 10% of recipients decide to opt out. You need to keep track of those opt-outs for compliance purposes so you don’t message those people again and irritate them.
Again, the right contact center SMS solution is critical here. It tracks opt-outs and opt-ins so you know who to target (and you stay compliant with regulatory requirements).
Be clear as to why you’re texting
Have you ever received a text from a wrong number? You don’t understand who the text is from or why that person has texted you. The same principle holds true when you’re using high-volume contact center SMS: customers want to know who you are and why you’re texting them.
When sending text messages, state who you are at the beginning of the text (for example, “It’s your favorite restaurant”) and make it clear as to the text’s purpose (“We’re texting you with a 10% off coupon”).
Keep the message short and sweet
In addition to clarity, brevity is crucial for high-volume contact center SMS.
There’s a reason SMSes have a higher open rate than emails: text messages are meant to be short and to the point. When you open an SMS, you expect to receive a brief message (ideally, one that leads you to act quickly). If you send SMS messages that are longer than 160 characters, they’ll be divided into more than one message, which might serve to annoy customers rather than inform them.
Provide value in every message
Before you even compose your message, ask yourself, “Does this deliver value to my customers?”
“Value” means that your customers are getting something meaningful out of the text message. For example, a notification that a book is due back at the library is valuable – no one wants to pay fines.
In addition, value is delivering on, or exceeding expectations. If you tell customers you’re going to text them coupons two times a month, you need to do what you say you will. Otherwise, customers will rightly think all you can offer is empty promises, and they won’t want to do business with you.
Don’t text too often
Another one of the SMS best practices companies should remember is not to text too often. “Too often” depends on what your customers have signed up for: if they’re expecting a daily text with a coupon, don’t send more than one coupon per day.
Reap the benefits of high-volume contact center SMS with RingCentral
RingCentral’s contact center software allows you to send high-volume SMS to customers in a cost-effective and quick way. You don’t need to invest in another number or send out mass-messages manually; it’s easy and fast with RingCentral. To learn more about high-volume contact center SMS, get a demo.
Originally published Aug 12, 2021