If you’ve got a large customer base or a small customer service team, you’ve probably found that providing efficient and compliant texting services through smartphones is difficult. Impossible, even. That’s why you’ve begun a search for business-grade tools that your teams can use to start business texting from computers.
Top business texting platforms offer computer-based texting services because of their ease, efficiency, and adaptability. After all, without a keyboard, responding to consumers—who respond to texts within 90 seconds on average—is nearly impossible.
But not all business-grade texting tools are created equal. When looking for the tool that will best serve your business’s need, there are certain features that you’ll want to be sure your tool of choice has.
Read on to discover the 5 features you’ll need for your teams to successfully begin business text messaging from computers.
Business Texting Platform Feature #1: A Team-Focused, Shared Inbox
Coordinating a customer conversation among multiple employees is a top challenge, especially for teams like customer service, operations, and logistics. Fast and accurate responses are a necessity when customer satisfaction is on the line. Business text messaging from computers can only help you so much—without a tool that actively helps you organize your teams, the communications you send out to customers have little chance of being timely.
Look for a platform that provides flexible, but secure, shared inboxes. This feature should let select members of your team see incoming messages, reply to them, and assign them to appropriate agents. Advanced platforms even offer the possibility of private messaging, so team members can coordinate on a chat without a customer knowing. These private messages are useful for tasks like training new employees as well.
Business Texting Platform Feature #2: Efficiency Tools
For any team, speed is a priority. Business text messaging from computers should enable your teams to create and respond to texts more quickly. However, the platform you use should offer certain features that expedite or eliminate repetitive tasks for your teams, empowering them to spend more time providing personalized attention to customers in need. These features include:
Templates. One of the most basic efficiency tools, templates are reusable business text messages. Top-tier platforms will enable team members to include photos, links, and custom fields in addition to text in their templates. These templates should be accessible by all team members, empowering everyone to respond uniformly to frequently asked questions.
Lists. Any platform should allow you to arrange customers into lists. Lists make it easier to organize customers and implement campaigns for targeted outreach. Ideally, you should be able to leverage your existing contact custom fields to search for contacts and add them to lists.
Personalization features. Merge tokens empower team members to send personalized templated messages to lists of recipients; your tool should be able to automatically fill in the templates with custom field information for each recipient. On the employee side, auto signatures add a human touch to outgoing messages, helping show recipients they are talking with real people, not bots. Both tools help establish strong customer relationships.
Scheduled messages. Teams should be able to schedule texts in advance, at the exact date and time they choose. Scheduled messages simplify the process of sending appointment reminders, conversation follow-ups, and extended feedback requests—and they enable businesses to ensure any messages are sent during business hours or other appropriate times.
Drip campaigns. One of email marketing’s favorite tools is available for business texting, too. Your business texting platform should empower you to set up a drip campaign, or a sequence of text messages sent on a predetermined schedule.
Automations. To streamline workflows, advanced platforms empower businesses to automate actions based on keywords contained in messages, or time and day. Whether you use automations to send automated responses to opt-in requests or after-hour auto replies, this tool is a serious time-saver.
Business Texting Platform Feature #3: Extensive Reporting Capabilities
In today’s data-driven world, reporting is available for nearly every technology tool. Your business texting platform should provide reporting capabilities as well, giving your teams valuable insights into agent productivity, messaging usage, KPIs, and customer responses.
A robust platform should be able to provide data on items like commonly used templates, time-consuming chats, and average resolution time. This data will empower managers to devise plans that will help your team improve response times or hone your overall approach.
Business Texting Platform Feature #4: Third-party Integrations
Every business has a few (or many) must-use apps that simply aren’t going anywhere. But juggling multiple apps can be difficult—even if they’re all available on your computer.
Look for a business texting platform that includes integrations with popular apps. At the very least, your choice should include integrations with:
- Internal chat apps, like Slack and Microsoft Teams
- CRM systems, like Salesforce.com and Hubspot
- Email-based customer service platforms, like Zendesk and Helpscout
- OTT messaging, like Facebook and Line
- Document systems, like Google Drive and computer-based documents (PDF, videos)
- Voice platforms, to text-enable landline, VoIP, and toll-free numbers
- Cloud call centers, like Aircall and Talkdesk
- Websites, like squarespace, WordPress, and Weebly
- Mobile apps, like native iOS and Android apps
Your chosen platform should integrate with your website, too, to make business texting from computers that much easier. For example, the platform’s web develops should be able to set up a widget on your website that lets customers easily contact your business.
Business Texting Platform Feature #5: Administrative Controls
Finally, ensure your platform has top-notch administrative controls that enable you to customize your platform to fit your team’s processes. Easy-to-use administrative features make platform use more tenable in the long run.
Your management teams and administrators should be able to control items like roles and subsequent permissions so you can control who in your team has access to which inboxes, importing contacts, editing custom fields, and billing, with plenty of options for adjustment and tweaking to suit your exact needs.
Ready for your team to start business texting from computers? Try our platform for free.