In a world where texting is becoming the primary means of communication, companies are challenged to align their practices and procedures with the preferences of the customers, and potential customers, who reach out to them.

Consider that the latest studies show that 98 percent of text messages are opened by their recipients1, and that 70 percent of business customers think texts are a good way to communicate with them and get their attention2.

Then compare that with what commonly happens when a customer calls a business.

In most situations, callers are likely to be forced to navigate through a complicated web of voice response choices that don’t lead to a live person or the caller may end up having to leave a voice mail message. And who knows if someone will actually call the customer back.   Managing a business like this is a sure way to alienate customers and drive them into the arms of a competitor to get what they need.

The business viewpoint

Callers aren’t particularly happy about this reality, but then, neither are businesses.

When employees are busy serving in-person customers or pressed with other urgent tasks – the ringing phone just adds to their stress. Since most employees can’t do two things at once effectively, the odds are that they will ignore the phone.

Then there is the challenge of dealing with the messages that customers leave, with attempted callbacks degenerating into a frustrating game of phone tag. Or perhaps worse yet, those voice messages get overlooked and never returned, fostering the kind of customer resentment that no business wants.

It’s not a pretty picture.

Texting for success

There is an easy, cost effective way to make sure your business manages every call ensuring your customer is taken care of as quickly as possible.

Smart Messaging enables a business to automatically text anyone who calls but doesn’t succeed at connecting with a live person. The caller is given the option of a text instead of leaving a voice message, which allows the business to communicate with callers based on their preferred method.

Leveraging built-in artificial intelligence, the system can also generate automatic text replies – clearly identified as coming from the business – for common questions, such as business hours or store location. It learns how to craft its replies as it sees how the business responds to these types of questions. These automatic responses assure that unsuccessful callers get a quick reply without having to devote employees’ time to sending them.

Smart Messaging also offers features such as visual voicemail, in which messages are automatically transcribed and presented to the business through a special inbox; the ability to chat directly with customers who find the business’ listing through a Google search; and the options of adding a “text us” button on the company’s website and integration with Facebook Messenger messages.

The Smart Messaging solution is unique in its artificial intelligence capabilities. Its proprietary AI engine is designed for the specific use case of helping businesses of various verticals handle messages from their customers. With the AI capabilities, the system initially understands common texting abbreviations and can learn over time to answer more and more of callers’ questions automatically.

Smart Messaging is offered in two tiers, based on a company’s call volume and number of employees, and because it is cloud-based, can be used with any service provider, wireless or landline phone, or business phone system. And specifically for restaurants, there is an add-on service: Eatmoji, an automated order taking capability that allows seamless texting back and forth, in different languages.

1Dynmark – http://info.dynmark.com/hs-fs/hub/307137/file-650880813-pdf/whitepapers/Intelligence_Review_Edition2.pdf

2https://www.voicesage.com/blog/sms-compared-to-email-infograph/