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Contact Center Spotlight

In this installment of the series, we are going to take a deeper dive into the various communications channels, how contact centers can leverage them, what customer experience (CX) professionals need to know and more.

Defining the numbers that matter for your contact center operations

For most companies, a positive customer service experience can be fruitful – with the lion’s share of consumers (81%) saying that it increases the likelihood they’ll make another purchase. But a poor customer experience can mean the difference between consumers sticking with a company or simply walking away. In fact, 76% of consumers say they would switch to a company’s competitor due to multiple bad customer service experiences, while an astonishing 61% say they would switch to a company’s competitor after just one bad customer service experience.

A key factor in differentiating a good customer service experience from a bad one? Communications.

Fortunately, CX professionals have several communications channels at their disposal – such as voice calls and text messaging. With mobile phone subscriptions exceeding 100% of the population in the US, voice calls and text messaging channels have the ability to provide immediate real-time engagement with consumers.

The key is understanding that with this channel, all numbers are not created equal. Because of this, it is important to understand the different options available for your contact center operations and use the right ones for the various ways in which you engage with customers.

First, there are your typical phone numbers – the ones used for wireline and wireless, residential and business. While the length and format vary by country, in North America they are always the same – “1” for the country code, followed by 10 digits. Commonly referred to as 10-digit long codes (10DLC), they can be both voice- and text-enabled.

There are also toll-free numbers, which are specific to North America. First introduced in the late 1960s, and used mostly by large companies, toll-free numbers are similar to regular, 10-digit long code telephone numbers in length and format, and that they also can be both voice- and text-enabled. Unlike 10-digit long code telephone numbers, however, the calling party doesn’t pay when dialing toll-free numbers. In addition, one phone number can be promoted nationally but the calls are routed locally, which helps elevate brand recognition, reduce routing costs and improve customer service.  

Finally, there are Short Codes. Used by a wide range of organizations – including many of the world’s largest and most well-known brands – Short Codes are five- or six-digit numbers used for text messaging. Keywords are frequently used to initiate various texting campaigns, such as: text “FLAVOR” to 711711. (You can likely guess what company that is – 7-Eleven!) Since consumers must initiate and opt-in to these campaigns, messages sent via Short Codes are uniquely effective in their ability to securely engage their target audience and helps organizations comply with Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations. In addition, Short Code lease holders and campaigns are vetted before messages are allowed to be sent, which helps make them virtually spam free. Short Codes also offer higher messaging burst rate and throughput levels than 10-digit long code toll-free number, making them an excellent choice for high volume and mission-critical messaging campaigns. It is important to note that while Short Codes can be text enabled, they have no voice capability.

So, with each of these numbers – 10-digit long codes, toll-free numbers and short codes – offering their own benefits and CX value, how do businesses decide which numbers are best for them? Which are best suited to meet your contact center needs? Should they use one over the other, or all three?

In our next article, we’ll take a deeper look at the voice channel – specifically, the ins and outs of 10DLC, toll-free numbers and callback services, consumer preferences and factors to consider such as security.

In the interim, if you’re interested in learning more about the numbers that matter, contact us.