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How SMS Can Help Transform Your Call Center From Outbound To Inbound

How can your call center benefit from a successful SMS marketing approach? Reinvigorate your call center by reducing operating expenses and improving both the agent and audience experience.

We've discussed the limitations of outbound calling, especially considering that, as of 2020, only 19% of Americans pick up calls from unknown numbers (Pew Research Center). Adding SMS to your marketing mix can even save you money by turning your outbound call center into an inbound one.

But saving money isn’t the only way your call center can benefit from a successful (and smart) SMS marketing approach. Even though adding SMS to your outbound efforts can save you money, it can also reinvigorate your call center in three specific areas:

  1. Reducing Operating Expenses
  2. Agent Experience
  3. Audience Experience

Reducing Operating Expenses

From an operations standpoint, it takes a lot of time for call center agents to talk to people who (for the most part) don’t seem to want to answer the phone. This leads to a lot of unproductive calls and time wasted. If only 19% of Americans answer the phone for unknown numbers, then 81% of calls are probably going to be ignored. And even if you have a robo-dialer, you’re still spending a lot of time on numbers that statistically aren’t very likely to engage with your brand.

An SMS approach can change the narrative by allowing you to add context to the conversation. Instead of being an unknown number (or the dreaded “Likely Spam” label), you’ll be able to introduce yourself via text and give your audience instructions on how to engage with you on their own time.

Agent Experience

If you haven’t worked in a call center before, allow us to paint a picture for you.

You put on your headset, clock in, and sign into the phone system. The numbers you need to call form a queue, and you set yourself to Active and begin your shift. Before you finish entering the first number, an incoming call comes in. YES! This should be easy. But, as you click “Answer” and begin your welcome script, a tirade of verbal abuse comes at you. Literally, every expletive you’ve ever heard (and some new ones) are ringing in your ear. And before you get a word in, they say, "Don't ever call me again." CLICK.

We’re 99% sure that almost every call center agent has experienced something similar to the above scenario. It doesn’t feel great to go through something like this, especially when they feel like they're putting up with too much. But how can SMS change scenarios like this?

SMS can provide more context for incoming calls so that people know what company they are calling and WHY you’re trying to reach them. A conversational texting approach allows you to illuminate the consumer's intent by engaging in persistent (but respectful) messaging. That way, when inbound calls do come in, they are from people that are ready to talk and actually interested in whatever you have to offer — whether that be a product or a service. This makes inbound conversations more productive because your agents won’t have to spend time explaining who they are and why they are calling.

Audience Experience

Being in control of your own time feels good, so it’s practically human nature for people to want to engage with brands on their terms, not when they're called. From an audience perspective, incoming calls are seen as invasive and intrusive. Unexpected calls tend to interrupt moments in people’s lives and rarely come across as necessary or urgent.

SMS puts your audience in a position of power so that they can engage with your brand on their terms. It then becomes their decision to contact you, which works in your favor. Since your audience is calling, they know who they’re talking to and why, so there’s rarely a rush to get off the call or an overwhelmingly hostile conversation.

Drips, specifically, can use our AI-powered Conversational Texting® at scale to help you measure audience intent and prime them for a productive conversation. Although turning your outbound call center into an inbound one isn’t the right fit for everyone, we can still help you reduce your outbound calling volume and figure out the cadence of outbound calling versus texting.

Let Drips help you start your calls off on a different note. Your call center employees will thank you for it.

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