Combining SMS and Voice for better customer experiences
Voice communications provide a degree of immediacy and a type of real-time access that other channels lack. Combining the advantages of voice with other, complementary voice channels makes your overall communications even stronger and more effective.
Automating processes over the phone is a way for companies to streamline workflows and improve efficiency. For customers, automation provides them control over the service process by allowing them to undertake self-service tasks at their own pace.
At the same time, SMS is proven as an effective and efficient means of communication. People are more likely to open and read SMS messages than any other type of communication.
Plum Fuse allows users to combine both the voice and SMS channels in one place. As a result, users enable customers to self-serve using voice, and to follow up on those interactions with proactive SMS messages.
You can do pretty much anything in Fuse with an idea and a little know-how. Below are a few use cases that might help get the proverbial wheels turning, or otherwise inspire you to integrate your voice and SMS channels.
Processing payments over the phone is a common self-service process using the voice channel. Oftentimes, customers don’t receive confirmation of a payment until they see it appear on their credit card statement or posted to their bank account.
Other times, the voice application will provide callers with a transaction number for their payment, but if callers aren’t expecting this information they may not be prepared to write it down.
In both of these common situations, sending a payment receipt by SMS that including the payment amount and a transaction ID, for example, reassures the caller that their payment is complete and provides a better customer experience.
On the voice application side of things, the app can detect the phone number the caller is using and ask them if it can accept an SMS receipt. If not, the caller can then enter a number of their choosing and instantly receive an SMS message with the desired information.
Similar to the payment receipt notification, callers can manage appointments with a self-service voice application. In many instances, callers using a mobile phone want to input appointment information into the calendar application on their phone.
Sending callers an SMS message in real-time as their appointment is confirmed makes it easier for them to transfer that information to their calendar app. When this information is formatted properly in the SMS message, smartphone users can usually just click on the details in the message and it automatically populates a new calendar event for them. This saves the caller time and reduces the potential for input errors, resulting in late or missed appointments.
More and more companies rely on two-factor authentication for accessing customer accounts. This type of authentication is more secure and reliable than standard question and answer methods, which can be easily compromised.
When a caller tries to access their account, the voice app sends an SMS message with a unique code to a mobile number in the user’s account profile. Once the caller receives the code, they enter it into the voice app for verification before continuing with their transaction.
Sometimes companies just want to show their customers that they’re appreciated. Some companies look to their customers to provide valuable feedback about their experiences, and use that feedback to drive improvements in customer service.
You can use SMS messaging for both of these purposes. This may include a quick note of thanks or appreciation to a customer after a transaction. Some businesses may want to pass along information about the interaction, such as a case or ticket number, similar to the examples above.
Companies soliciting feedback from customers can use a tool such a Plum Insight to collect that data. Plum Insight delivers surveys over the phone and the web. Including a link to a customer satisfaction survey in an SMS message is one way to quickly deliver that opportunity before caller motivation to supply feedback wanes.
There is no shortage of ways in which to combine your voice and SMS channels using Plum Fuse to reach your communications goals.