For years we’ve been hearing customer service leaders talking about “end-to-end customer service” without really seeing a satisfactory level of practical application.
Today, we can see a concrete example of this continuous relationship in action through innso’s leverage of the humble and omnipresent SMS message.
One-time actions, lifetime events
For players in the Customer Service industry, stakes are high: a new paradigm of brand engagement changes focus from actions to life events. This small but significant perspective shift marks a profound alteration to the way we view interactions, transactions and, ultimately, the customer service business model as a whole.
Innso’s approach is simple: create a conversational connection with customers from day one, whether that be after the first telephone call, the first back-office process, or the first website interaction.
A continuous connection from day one
A recap sent via SMS (or another messaging channel) summarizes the essential elements of that first exchange and invites the customer to make use of the same messaging channel to tie up any loose ends. Open invitations like these can remain in place for as long as the brand requires. Expiry dates are set according to the type of interaction that triggered the messages in the first place.
For customers, it’s a supremely accessible mode of contact with almost zero effort required. Any additional requests are immediately contextualized, while the customer is free to give feedback at any time for the duration of the conversation.
For brands, there are multiple benefits. There are improvements to indicators that relate to customer satisfaction, up by 25% on average, according to our findings. There’s an immediate impact on repeat calls, on average 30% less over 7 days and up to 60% less over shorter periods. Costs control is enhanced, as customer demand is diverted toward more cost-efficient channels. Then there’s the detail and contextualization of text conversations, an excellent source of customer and workflow insights.
But above all, using a messaging channel like SMS meets a deeply-held market expectation.
There’s a great deal of feedback from operations-level surveys to reflect this. The promise of a personal communication channel results in a significant boost to satisfaction levels. Even those who don’t take up the offer derive reassurance from the promise of a personal and direct communication channel.
Here’s why SMS rules
Now, when we explain how this all works out, we often encounter two questions: firstly, why use SMS, and secondly, where does the innso platform fit in?
SMS is the only channel that can reach almost 100% of a customer base, and the only one not governed by one or more of the Big Five tech companies – Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft. No doubt that will change once the industry embraces RCS or another universal messaging system; at that point, we’ll simply swap out the old platform and swap in the new.
And innso? Innso is the interaction platform that enables manual or automatic messaging, that manages responses and knows how they fit into a conversation. Above all, an innso implementation is designed to optimize your entire system of customer relationship management. It makes sure that messages are distributed in a way most well-adapted to your organization’s metrics of efficiency and satisfaction (task assignment by role or by customer familiarity), while taking current volumes and historical trends into account.
Here come the benefits
Benefits are realized not only for the customer experience but also for the employee experience. Employees gain innso platform tools that structure conversations and workflows as well as a completely customizable UI, pulling together the sort of information that agents need to effectively assist customers over the course of an entire conversation. For managers, Innso provides the real-time information needed to elevate agent performance and ensure the require standards of operational quality.
Customers and employees alike benefit from our liberating simplicity of approach, yet under the hood lies a ton of careful preparatory work. Mutually agreed engagement strategies are typified by their focus on unlocking the value of each contact, whether that means creating financial value or creating space for moments of genuine understanding and connection.
The next step is to lay out a new customer journey that nevertheless aligns as closely as possible with the existing one, the aim being to lighten agents’ cognitive load.
Finally, agents should be supported in whatever channel they’re working in (SMS messages and emails, for example, aren’t written the same way). Managers, too, should be equipped to communicate each channel’s operationing principles clearly. Throughout the entire process, innso’s advisory teams are with you every step of the way.
Let’s make it real
Big changes like these might seem like they require a big runway – but with innso, they don’t. Going from agreement to implementation usually takes less than a month. After that, we like to recommend a three-month pilot before rolling out and evaluating ROI among your teams.
SMS is simple and agile. Now there’s no excuse to avoid creating deeper relationships within your customer service operation. Contact us for a demonstration.