If you operate a call center, you know how much time is spent on the phone. Sounds logical, of course, as the very nature of calling people is your stock and trade – but as any business knows, it’s important to think about how streamlining operations can lead to reduced labour costs and time spent on tasks that could be automated – particularly if it leads you to increased revenue.
As such, it’s important to take advantage of the new technologies that are on offer – particularly when it comes to payment, if for example your call center is operating in a capacity of collecting payments from customers who are overdue. With the multitude of challenges that customer service representatives face in this regard, it’s perhaps not surprising to consider that incorporating text to pay for call centers solutions into your business could help you improve your operations.
With text to pay solutions – particularly with the SMS Virtual Terminal that is integral to text to pay for call centers – you’re able to contact your customers via SMS messaging in order to both collect payment and to help streamline your operations and improve your customer service’s rate of retrieval for outstanding payments. Let’s take a look at how text to pay could work with your business.
How Does Text To Pay Work?
Pay by text solutions allow businesses to both communicate and accept payments from their customers through a text message to a mobile phone. From an SMS Virtual Terminal, companies are able to both send texts to customers to alert them of payment reminders, and to accept payments via the same text message, sent straight from the customer’s cell phone in response to invoices sent.
In addition, the Virtual Terminal that the company is able to operate from is able to be used to communicate with their customers in all manner of ways – from sending promotional material, to arranging meetings and calls, to the highly important reminders about outstanding payments. Texts can be automated and programmed to be sent in advance, and canned responses can be used in order to streamline operations. Customers are also able to text the company using a dedicated cell number, instigating communication with a customer service rep to solve any issues they have instantly.
What Are The Problems With Call Center Operations?
Let’s say, for example, that you work in a call center that works on collecting payments for a credit union. The bulk of your operations consists of calling customers in order to try and chase outstanding payments, to recoup the huge loss that late payments can cost.
This business model may have worked in the past – but now, it throws up a few problems. First off, customers are notoriously terrible both at picking up their phones and at listening to voicemails – meaning that when you need to get them the information the most urgently, they’re frequently unreachable, or can take days – even weeks – to get back to you.
Secondly, cold-calling customers means that you may catch them without their payment information. Think about it: when you’re on the receiving end of a phone call that you weren’t expecting, they usually come at the worst time – when you’re at the gym, when you’re in a doctor’s appointment, at work – and more often than not, you’re just not in a position to deal with what the person on the other end of the phone needs. Now, even if the customer’s at fault for not paying, if they’re simply not in a position where they’re ready to send payment or don’t have their card info at hand, it’s essentially a wasted call on your part.
The third problem with pure call communication is customer preference – customers simply prefer being texted, even if from a call centre. With the majority of customers preferring to receive a text as opposed to a voicemail, people’s preferences are changing – and more and more people want to be contacted in a readable format that won’t take them too much time to consume, and which they can then act on in their own time and at their own pace.
Finally, calling customers takes a huge amount of time. Although that’s your business’ bread and butter, there’s no getting around the fact that the amount of time it takes your customer service representatives to get in touch with customers, talk to them on the phone, attempt to retrieve information, fail at doing so, schedule a follow-up call, have the customer miss that call, have to call again… well, it goes on and on.
Okay, Okay, I Get It… So Why Does My Call Center Need Text To Pay?
With text to pay services, you’re able to circumvent a huge amount of these issues by using text technology from your Virtual Terminal in tandem with your traditional business operation.
Let’s take voicemails, for example. Instead of leaving a voicemail with information, your business is able to send a quick follow-up text to yur customer’s mobile number, delivering the informaiton for them to read and a contact number to get back to you. You can even send through the invoice for the outstanding payment to them via text following the call, for them to act upon as soon as they can – and as text to pay for call centers takes a few taps to make payment, it’s easy.
Furthermore, instead of cold-calling customers and catching them without their payment information, you can send a text to them beforehand to check when they’re able to speak – and as they’re able to respond to your Virtual Terminal, you can then arrange the call instead of calling them randomly. It’s this kind of gesture that makes your customer’s time feel valued and respected, and leads to less wasted time for your employees, as your customer will be ready with their card or ACH information in hand.
You’re also, crucially, contacting your customers in the way that they prefer to be contacted – meaning that your business is listening to their needs and wants, and bypassing the traditional reputation of impersonal call centers with no regard for customer experience.
And most importantly, these solutions save time, and therefore money. Through enabling text to pay for call centers you’re able to prevent your customer service reps from spending endless hours on calls with customers, and instead can arrange the information beforehand, meaning all they have to do is take payment over the phone – or, if your customer wishes, they’re able to pay through the invoice sent through to their smartphone, meaning your labour resources are hugely saved.
The Bottom Line
By integrating text to pay services and the Virtual Terminal into your call center business, you could be improving your operations and taking your business to the next level. Integrating processes to accept payments from text messages not only gives your customers the choice to pay by text, but also allows you and your customers a direct line of communication that allows you schedule calls, follow up on outstanding payments, and crucially listens to what they want.
To further discuss how text to pay for call centers could help your business, contact Agile Payments today. With almost two decades of experience, we have the passion and the knowledge to help your business succeed. Get in touch now.