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Two way messaging with customers

Digital engagement: Part 2 of 3

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Texting is a very basic form of communication. Even with fancy communication options like video conferencing, simple, text-based two-way messaging, like SMS, still reigns supreme, even amongst younger generations who grew up with essentially a supercomputer in their pocket.

Texting is easy, convenient, fast and immediate, and at the same time, it enables you to multitask, unlike a phone call that must be “organized” and requires full engagement during the conversation.

For many years, forward-thinking companies have enabled two-way messaging to have quick conversations and resolve issues quickly. When one of your customers has an issue, you want to limit the amount of time to resolution. Being available to address the customer’s issue quickly helps you turn frustration into satisfaction.

Be on the channels your customers use

There are so many messaging platforms, and you want to be on the ones your customers use. It could be Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Twitter, chat and even good ole SMS. Being on as many channels as possible enables your customers to connect with your brand whenever and however they want. Customers may be on their mobile device at the time they want to communicate with you. They may be on your support page and want a friendly chat box to pop up so that they can engage with you right on your web page. This could pop up as they are looking at your products page, enabling you to nicely jump in and ask, “How can we help you?” Addressing customers in two-way messaging reduces their time of confusion or dissatisfaction.

Digital Engagement, a one-stop-shop

Managing multiple channels can be a pain. Each channel will have separate logins and separate ways incoming issues are received, routed and handled. As you add channels, it becomes a nightmare to manage and to staff as well. Do you select one or two agents to handle specific channels?  What happens if it gets overloaded, for instance, during a Twitter storm? How do you handle 24/7 coverage with just a handful of people managing that particular channel?

This is where a centralized solution that connects to all messaging systems is of incredible value. When you can abstract the specific channels, you can leverage the power of the Salesforce Service Cloud platform and Digital Engagement to take advantage of Omnichannel Routing and service console.

Addressing a question about, for example, warranties can be handled by any agent no matter what channel it came through. This means you do not have to increase coverage on any one particular channel, and you can leverage the power of your customer service process to address any question from any channel at any time.

Another key benefit is the data. If a customer engages in two-way messaging, you want all of that rich data to be tracked on that customer record, so when you look at the customer record, you can see all of the interactions you have had with that customer, even the ones on social channels. Breaking down the silos is good business and results in better customer service.

Getting fancy

Two-way messaging with Salesforce Digital Engagement is handled right through the service console, so no hopping over to separate screens to handle issues.

Productivity can be further improved with sneak peeks to what customers are typing. Pre-canned responses can also be available with just a button press and Einstein can even suggest the best article based on context. As you use it more, the suggestions continue to improve.

Two-way messaging can also support live coaching from supervisors who can observe chats and make suggestions and improvements.

Pure outbound messaging is also supported. Agents can proactively reach out to customers on these channels to keep them updated or auto-send a message when a case is closed.

Getting even fancier

As your data increases, your artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities also become more accurate. AI-powered chatbots can be created to answer routine questions or route them to the right agent more accurately. Many customers expect chatbot capabilities, so they do not need to “chat with an agent.” Chatting with an agent takes time and focus, and you always run the risk of being disconnected. As a customer, it is always nice to know there is a chatbot who can answer your routine questions without having to go through the process of connecting to a live agent.

Because Salesforce is a platform, you have the option of easily adding automation. For instance, when a case is closed, you can automatically message the customer on their preferred channel. If you have a system outage and Twitter messages start to fly around, you can easily and automatically send out a tweet to all those affected when the outage is solved. With further automation, you can easily close all of the cases automatically.

Getting started

Digital Engagement is a platform that grows in value exponentially as you add more channels. If you have only a need to manage a Twitter account, that is fine, but consider how quickly you can add channels when you have a platform behind it. The cost of adding additional channels like Facebook, SMS, LiveChat, Whatsapp, Instagram and more become inexpensive, because you can leverage the infrastructure, processes and people you already have.

Using Digital Engagement means being in more places where your customers are and how they want to transact with you. While Digital Engagement does have an additional license cost, it also delivers incredible value that grows quickly as your business grows.

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