Companies that manage contact centers across the country have reported record numbers of inbound calls during the coronavirus pandemic. Those companies are trying to make do with employees who are working remotely and whose centers are likely to be less-staffed. Higher inbound volumes coupled with lower headcount is a recipe for increased wait times and heightened levels of dissatisfaction. But it doesn’t have to be. Contact centers that have deployed text messaging as a communication solution are able to manage the increased volume of inquiries with a lower number of representatives, allowing those centers to run efficiently and effectively.
By now, everyone has heard the statistics. Text messaging is, by far, the most preferred method of communication among people across the United States today. Text messages are read — and responded to — faster than any other communication channel — phone call, email, or traditional mail. More people want companies to be able to communicate using text messaging. It is faster, more convenient, and more discreet than a traditional phone conversation. Anyone who has not already hopped on board the text train is at risk of being left at the station.
A contact center representative manages one phone call at a time. But that same representative can manage multiple text conversations simultaneously, improving efficiency and still managing to maintain high levels of customer interaction and satisfaction. Individuals who initiate conversations via text messaging are responded to faster than phoning into a contact center and waiting for a representative to be available to take a call.
It only takes one customer who feels the time it took to get connected to a representative on the phone was too long and complain about it for a company’s reputation to get damaged. A complaint goes viral so much faster than a compliment does. But if a contact center can communicate via text messaging, then the likelihood of a complaint can be greatly reduced.
This is a time when companies need to be at their best. Every interact is being judged differently and being interpreted through a new lens. Even if a contact center is staffed with fewer people than it had before the COVID-19 pandemic, it cannot afford a drop in the performance of its customer service operations. A text messaging platform can be a buffer to improve agent efficiency while still allowing the company to offer tremendous customer service.
This is not a time for companies to be looking at cutting back on the communication channels they offer, especially text messaging. This is a time for companies to ramp up their text messaging operations to capitalize on the opportunities it presents and the preferences of individuals across the country. Text messaging can be the answer to many of the questions that companies have about their contact center operations.