SMS has been around for a long time but it’s use for customer communications has been somewhat limited to one-way promotional messaging. Why is this the case when SMS is accessible and convenient for almost everyone across the globe? For time sensitive customer support, SMS really ticks all the boxes.
At Engage for Amazon Connect, we believe in making service easier for agents and more convenient for customers, and that’s why we’re excited to announce that our SMS feature now offers real-time, two-way chat making it another asynchronous channel to add to your customer support operations.
In this article we cover how SMS works within Engage for Amazon Connect, what the business benefits are for adding SMS to your CX strategy, and what makes it different to other cloud contact center platforms.
How does SMS with Engage for Amazon Connect work?
With Engage for Amazon Connect, agents can receive inbound customer queries via SMS and can continue engaging in a real-time, two-way text message conversation without pushing the customer to a different channel.
It’s all managed via the Engage for Amazon Connect omnichannel agent desktop, with threaded cross-channel history so that agents can see ALL customer interactions over time across ALL channels. This includes voice calls, email correspondence and direct messages across social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, WeChat and Apple Business Chat.
What are the benefits of using SMS as a service channel?
SMS is a popular communication channel for people of all ages, across the globe. Aside from its popularity, using SMS for customer service delivers strategic business benefits such as:
- Improving omnichannel CX. SMS is one more asynchronous communication channel that you can incorporate into your cloud contact center platform to strengthen your omnichannel experience, while also reducing the number of disparate tools and siloed information your agents contend with.
- Reducing customer friction. Some customers may be frustrated when your only digital communication platforms are social media networks. They may not subscribe to these, leaving them with phone or email as the only other option. Everyone with a mobile phone however has access to SMS. It’s accessible, easy to use, and isn’t reliant on a smartphone, app download or wifi access.
- Increasing customer engagement. With SMS you can be guaranteed better customer engagement. Most people read and respond to text messages within the first 3 minutes, and because of this, engagement rates have been proven 8X higher than email.
- Effectively delivering time sensitive support. Based on the fact that most people have their phones with them for 22 hours per day, SMS is a reliable tool for time sensitive situations like roadside assistance, transport schedule changes, rideshare updates, delivery schedules and removalist ETAs.
- Driving repeat business. 60% of consumers say they’d redeem a mobile coupon received via text message within a week. Text messages are actioned fast, so businesses can see immediate revenue results by closing customer conversations with special offers or personalized discounts.
What makes SMS with Engage for Amazon Connect different to others?
Scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find that while many contact center platforms say they include SMS as a channel, it’s often only one-way communication. Customers are generally pushed to other channels after the initial contact has been made. The truth is - customers don’t want this. It adds friction to the customer experience, when ultimately the customer just wants to get an answer on the same platform where they asked the question. So while it might be ok to push customers to a new channel for follow up tasks or generic information delivery (like T&Cs sent via email), it’s not ideal for time sensitive customer support where customers are seeking immediate resolutions delivered in a personalized and empathetic manner. Engage for Amazon Connect is designed to make customer service easier for agents and more convenient for customers, and that’s exactly why we’ve enhanced our SMS feature to provide real-time, two-way chat functionality.
How to add SMS to your cloud contact center platform?
Engage for Amazon Connect is purpose built for Amazon Connect and to use SMS, customers must have a phone number provisioned in AWS Pinpoint. If you’re an existing Amazon Connect customer and you’re interested in adding SMS to your omnichannel CX strategy, contact us to find out more about how Pinpoint functionality works within your region.
The best part about Engage for Amazon Connect is that you don’t have to switch on all the channels today. You might want to master voice and email as unified customer service channels first, and that’s ok. Engage for Amazon Connect is an out of the box solution with no custom builds required. When you’re ready to switch on SMS, or any other digital channel for that matter, you just let us know. We’re ready to go when you are.
Interested in adding SMS as a communication channel for your customer support operations? Find out how Engage for Amazon Connect can help.