OneReach today introduced an SMS customer service offering, SMS Call Center, that allows companies to directly convert incoming calls to text conversations.
When a customer calls in to a company's IVR, the OneReach SMS Call Center platform provides the option for a caller to complete the interaction via text messaging instead of wading through IVR prompts or waiting on hold for an agent. The caller is prompted to press a button and is then transferred to text-based communication to resolve the request either through a live text conversation with an agent or an automated interaction.
According to OneReach, the cost per interaction for SMS customer service is about 25 percent less than a phone call through the IVR. Companies that manage high quantities of service calls regarding a simple, specific action, such as a password change or tracking an order, can automate the SMS customer interaction so an agent is not required, reducing the cost per interaction to about 25 cents.
OneReach allows call centers to create simple to complex SMS automation capability using OneReach's visual designer. For companies that don't have a call center in place, OneReach can also provide standalone SMS, IVR, and Web chat capabilities.
Once SMS customer service is implemented, companies can further increase meaningful engagement with their customers, including adding point of sale integration and outbound communications that allow for two-way interaction. For example, an outbound reminder for an automatic re-order of a product sent via text can also ask customers if they would like complimentary products added, and then confirm the sale through SMS.
According to a study from J.D. Power & Associates, 93 percent of IVRs have resulted in decreased customer satisfaction versus talking with an agent. Providing a Web chat channel has shown to improve satisfaction by up to 65 percent, but customers who call in for assistance cannot be transferred directly to chat, meaning they have to abandon their phone call to switch devices and can feel they've lost the progress made through the IVR.
Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project reports that text messaging is becoming a preferred method of communication among consumers, with 31 percent of mobile phone owners preferring to text instead of talk. The SMS Call Center offering from OneReach can transfer callers to a text message conversation with a live agent to address their needs in a simple, convenient text message exchange they can have from anywhere.
"Many call centers have adopted SMS as a marketing tool or for simple notifications, however, there are huge opportunities for businesses to use this powerful, always-available channel to engage in two-way communication with their customers," said Rich Weborg, CEO of OneReach, in a statement. "Our SMS Call Center application provides a smart bridge from an expensive, sometimes frustrating phone interaction to an efficient engagement that is cost effective for businesses and convenient for the customer."