How to Evaluate and Choose the Right Solution for You

The Enterprise Buyer's Guide to Text Messaging Tools

Today’s world is driven by experience. The modern consumer trades attention as currency as they interact and engage with brands, expecting ease and convenience at every stage of the customer journey. But, for brands, it’s difficult to keep up.

The reality is, as businesses try to deliver an omnichannel, human-to-human, seamless experience, most consumers experience a broken, friction-filled customer journey. With so many platforms, channels, and evolving technologies, it’s hard to stay ahead of the curve and meet customer expectations, let alone build a human connection with a new customer.

Overloaded phone systems create long wait times. Email open and response rates are falling year after year. Brands play phone tag with customers just to connect and customers are slow to respond, if at all because company numbers aren’t saved as contacts. Incoming messages across multiple channels—Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business, your website, phone calls, and emails—often managed by different people and departments throughout the business, bombard and overload internal teams.

This disjointed communication creates chaos for your internal team and a poor experience for your customers. You regularly battle slow response times, lost or forgotten incoming messages, and wasted time while your team grows increasingly frustrated and burned out. The result?

You’re losing leads.

Over 60% of customers expect to receive real-time responses from the brands they interact with, regardless of the channel they use. And if they have a bad experience in just one channel, over 50% of customers are less likely to engage with your brand again. If you don’t meet a prospect’s expectations, they’ll seek out your competitor and take their business with them.

“The days of email communications have gone by the wayside. If you don’t make a meaningful connection with customers within five minutes, they’ll go to a competitor.” – Jamie Ziegler, Hunger Douglas

You’re missing out on potential revenue.

Companies that exhibit weak multi-channel customer experiences trail behind businesses that deliver incredible, omnichannel experiences in both year-over-year increase in annual revenue and a decrease in cost per contact.

You’re losing customers.

Organizations that adopt omnichannel strategies and provide a seamless, convenient experience for their customers achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates. Those that don’t see higher customer attrition.

Your team is running inefficiently and burnt out.

With manual processes and too many platforms to properly master, your internal teams are frustrated and ready to leave. But they know what they want. Nearly 90% of employees say that a seamless communications platform would not only increase company profitability, but it would keep 83% of employees at the company longer.

customer service worker

5 ways you’re trying to solve the problem. And it’s not working.

1. Relying on phone and email

If you’re like most businesses today, you’re likely still relying on phone calls and email campaigns to connect to your prospects and customers. In fact, 83% of businesses claim email as their number one messaging platform while 75% still use phone calls. But is
your customer waiting on the other end? The answer is no—90% of consumers prefer to engage with a business through texting or another messaging app. The days of highly- converting nurture campaigns or consistently answered phone calls are over.

While email reportedly generates $38 for every $1 spent and 60% of answered incoming phone calls turn into successful sales, getting those numbers takes even more time and effort. Email open rates still sit at 20% and 30% of incoming calls go to voicemail (while 53% of US consumers spend 13 hours on hold each year).

To compete in today’s market and meet the needs of today’s modern customers, you can’t rely solely on phone and email. Consumers demand more convenience and you’re wasting your team’s time and money in hopes of retaining old practices.

2. Create intricate, manual handoff or forwarding systems and workflows.

Without automatic routing or tagging/flagging of incoming messages from all of the platforms you use to communicate with your prospects and customers, many businesses turn to create intricate, manual handoffs or complex forwarding systems and workflows. And it’s a significant pain point.

Take, for example, a message that comes in through Facebook. The message details a support issue and needs to be routed to your customer support team. The incoming message is likely seen first by a social media manager and it will either A) get lost in the multitude of direct messages and engagement the social media manager is already dealing with on Facebook or B) get stuck in the process of the social media manager trying to find the right person to answer the question. And even if the message is forwarded to the right team and they, by some miracle, have time to respond to a drive-by request like a DM from Facebook, the route back to answering that specific question on that specific platform is muddied with other organizational priorities and processes that are working for other incoming messages. The customer is frustrated and the process isn’t set up for success.

3. Adding a chatbot or a phone tree

Did you know that 75% of customers would rather clean their house than interact with an ineffective  chatbot online? If you’re trying to solve the problem of a disjointed brand experience with a bot that only answers FAQs on your site, you aren’t winning any new customers. You’re likely wasting time and money on a platform that isn’t delighting your website visitors.

And a phone tree? It just adds to the poor experience. In fact, Gen Z and millennials cut ties with brands more than five times each year when they have a negative interaction. More and more, frustrations mount when consumers can’t get in touch quickly and with the right customer service representative. And businesses lose prospects and revenue.

4. Implementing new tools, channels, or solutions in silos

A disjointed customer experience is a red flag that internal systems are in chaos. You’ve likely tried adding new tools, channels, or solutions, but they’re implemented in silos. Every team is trying to solve the same problem without communicating across the organization. And it typically leads to miscommunication or even more work. For many employees, as much as 14% of every day can be spent forwarding emails, taking phone calls, or duplicating information.

5. Doing nothing

Nearly 90% of customers agree that brands need to be actively improving their customer experience, making it as seamless and convenient as possible. If you’re hoping that customer expectations will change or your systems will fix themselves, the only thing you’re guaranteeing is more customers for your competitors.

By doing nothing, you risk losing more costly leads that will fall through the cracks of
a broken system, fewer and fewer reviews added online (reducing your overall brand reputation), faster customer attrition, unmet customer expectations, and a team stuck on phone calls and in email threads with time they don’t have.

customer service setting up SMS service

You need a better, faster way to manage all customer interactions.

First off, what you don’t need is another tool. Especially a texting tool you only use occasionally or that adds more chaos to your current systems. What you need is a consolidated, centralized, consistent communication platform that enables you to reach prospects and customers better and faster.

The right Interaction ManagementTM platform can provide just that—a convenient customer experience across all critical customer interactions from requesting reviews to fielding website inquiries, requesting payments, and ongoing customer feedback and support.

The right platform will enable your team to manage all messages and communication in a centralized, easy-to-use solution and reach your customer at every stage and interaction of the journey.

When messages are routed to the wrong person first, time is lost, messages are misplaced, and customers experience friction.

When messages are routed to the right person first, messages are answered quickly, internal teams save time, and the customer experience isn’t disrupted.

What is Interaction ManagementTM?

With a centralized view, the right tool will span across marketing, sales, and customer service/support teams—a single source of truth for internal teams that communicate with customers. Automatic routing and a complete history of customer conversations makes it easy for each department and team to interact with the customer at each stage of the journey.

But Interaction Management is more than conversational marketing or a texting tool. It should help you:

1. Outshine competitors

Improve your online reputation by improving local search rankings with increased review requests.

  • Automate the review generation process
  • Rank higher in online search results
  • Increase customer star ratings and referrals

2. Acquire and convert more leads

Acquire more customers and convert more leads with an omnichannel, frictionless customer journey.

  • Deliver a seamless, convenient customer experience
  • Resolve customer issues faster
  • Generate more qualified leads at a lower cost

3. Improve customer engagement

Keep up with changing customer expectations as you build an interactive journey that spans every interaction from inquiry to post-purchase.

  • Increase engagement at every stage of the customer journey
  • Deliver the right information to customers at the right time and in the right channel
  • Collect reliable, valuable, customer feedback

4. Save time and increase efficiency

Mitigate the challenges of managing multiple platforms, channels, teams, and conversations with every customer interaction with a single, centralized platform.

  • Reduce manual work, including answering phones and email
  • Manage all channels, systems, and customer interactions with a single platform
  • Integrate with existing tech stack and reduce security and compliance risk

5. Get richer customer insights

Analyze meaningful customer insights in real-time to make changes to the customer journey and improve the efficiency of marketing speed.

  • Prove the value and contribution of marketings efforts to the bottom line
  • Discover insights into what’s happening across all locations
  • Implement changes to improve the customer journey and experience

reading a sms message on mobile

What to look for in the right Interaction Management platform.

As you search for the right Interaction ManagementTM platform for your business, consider this: while some platforms and solutions may contribute to a seamless customer journey or a consistent omnichannel experience, the platform that will scale and provide the most value moves beyond customer acquisition, customer experience, and customer retention. It values business efficiency at its center with a centralized communication platform, offering easy-to-implement processes, workflows, and integrations so your team can adopt quickly and focus on customer needs, not just internal challenges.

Customer acquisition

Disjointed customer experiences frustrate 94% of all consumers. And that starts online. Your Interaction ManagementTM solution should increase your review intake, improving your online presence and search result rankings. Once a prospect finds you and lands on your site, the web chat experience should be seamless. The right platform will collect critical customer information upfront and easily transfer web conversations to on-the-go mobile text conversations or even live video calls.

Customer experience

Collecting payment and even scheduling an appointment or delivery shouldn’t be any less convenient than initial conversations with your business. Create the right customer experience— make it easy for the customer to use any platform and speak to a brand representative that has the right context. The right Interaction ManagementTM platform will store all history, customer notes, payment information in one inbox, reducing the frustration many customers have when they reach a new customer service representative.

Customer retention

Companies that prioritize strong omnichannel customer experiences retain 89% of their customers compared to their weak counterparts (at just 33%). And retention starts with a seamless, end-to-end relationship—from acquisition to post-sale. Your Interaction ManagementTM platform should facilitate this expectation with multi-platform messaging—to collect and act on customer feedback—and simple review requests— to address any concerns post-sale and frontload the online experience for the next customer.

Centralized communication platform

Over 90% of employees agree that an integrated communications platform would enhance the experience for both customers and the employees. With the right Interaction ManagementTM platform you can do just that— centralize all communication and automations in one, easy-to-use solution. And customer data— from all communication sources—should be stored in one place and easy to analyze across the customer journey. No more logging into multiple tools or working in silos.

Choose the best solution.

As you consider the right Interaction Management platform for your business, there are several key categories of features and benefits you need to compare and research. Use these comparison charts to evaluate each platform and make sure it’s the right fit for your team and organization.

Directions: Review the checklist below and compare up to three platforms side-by-side. Once it’s complete, take note of what’s missing for each platform and evaluate the importance of each missing category to your organization’s commitment to meeting customer expectations and delivering a seamless, convenient experience.

Find the right Interaction Management platform for your business.

As you compile your Interaction Management research, keep in mind that the right platform will:

  • Leverage every preferred messaging channel—one secure inbox for all messages (and every location for your brand) from Facebook, Google, and more.
  • Gather reviews easily and quickly—a simple text has a higher chance of response than email and only takes 30 seconds.
  • Convert website visitors to text conversations—use a web chat feature that keeps the conversation going.
  • Offer speed and convenience across all interactions—find a solution that prioritizes ease in all communications including scheduling, feedback, payments, and reviews.
  • Integrate with your existing tech stack—continue work in the tools you already use: Salesforce, Yext, ServiceTitan, AthenaHealth, Dentrix, etc.
Download this guide now
Download Now