There has been a lot of chatter around SMS text messages in the call center, but are we going to use SMS as the media to resolve service and support issues? I don’t think this will become mainstream.
But there are two bullseye cases where short messages in the contact center make perfect sense:
The first is case initiation. This is my perfect scenario for that:
- I send a text message about what my issue is. i.e. “I can’t install the router software. Call me at this number.” All for about 60 characters.
- The system that receives this text automatically creates a case in the system with whatever useful information I put in the text message. In this case, we know it’s a router product and an issue with installation.
- A task to call me is created and queued to an agent.
- In a preview dialer situation, this call would be automatically placed and the case is presented to the agent right beforehand.
- As a customer, my experience is good. The right agent is now calling me, and she’s probably better prepared to solve my problem because she has that information up-front.
Voile! The perfect role of SMS in the service and support center!
In scenario two, text messages come into play at the resolution of the call. How many of us have scrambled for pen & paper when we’re supposed to write down a confirmation number? And if you’re driving, forget it. Here are several scenarios where the customer would love it if the agent could send them a quick text message:
- A confirmation number after receiving a payment or a change order.
- A case number after opening a trouble ticket.
- The time and date of a service appointment.
- An IP address, MAC address, or some other configuration setting that would be impossible to remember.
- An RMA number and website to check status
- A tracking number for shipping and the URL to check it (think Fedex or UPS).
This makes everyone happier: I don’t have to find something to write with, the agent can copy and paste the data faster than I can write, and no more multi-car pileups due to someone trying to take notes while driving.
I think you’ll start to see these types of implementations in SaaS call centers in 2011.