You’ve probably seen it happen before: one of your business departments or locations adopts business SMS, then sees wild success. Customers communicate with that department more than ever before. The team begins resolving queries and closing tickets rapidly. Now, other departments want in on the action.
Business SMS is a highly popular channel that works across many teams, from operations to customer service to sales. But when multiple departments want to use the same channel to communicate with customers, they need to be mindful about deploying a solution that provides the best customer experience. They should be thinking of questions like: How do teams identify the customer texts meant for them? How can teams avoid unknowingly texting customers multiple times a day?
Read on to learn how to coordinate business SMS efforts between departments.
Separate Your Business SMS Inboxes
Shared inboxes allow all team members to view and answer incoming business SMS messages in one place. You can use an SMS CRM integration to easily sync your contacts to your inbox, so team members can connect with regular customers and add new customers to the CRM. Most business SMS platforms allow a single business to have more than one shared inbox.
Each shared inbox has its own number or messaging channel (including Facebook Messenger and Apple Business Chat). Departments can ask customers to text their specific number. This way, team members can assume that most incoming messages are meant for their team, not another team. Don’t worry about losing valuable contact information when you use separate inboxes: contacts work across shared inboxes. Plus, you can give certain team members access to each shared inbox.
Theoretical Example: Swift Software’s sales and customer service teams both decided to try business text messaging. While leads and customers enjoyed texting in, internal teams realized that they were spending a lot of time figuring out who should answer which questions. With separate inboxes, the sales and customer service teams spend much less time figuring out who incoming messages are meant for.
Fill Out Custom Fields
Even with separate inboxes, team members have access to all contacts. When a team is creating a SMS marketing campaign, choosing contacts can be confusing. Which contacts belong to which team? If a certain contact has reached out to multiple teams, who does the contact “belong” to?
Business SMS platforms offer custom fields, which will come from your CRM (Salesforce, Hubspot, or custom API). Notes should also be filled out regularly, so that teams who share contacts can know exactly how recent interactions went.
Theoretical Example: Stylish Vintage Online’s customer service and SMS marketing teams share a contact list. The marketing team doesn’t want to contact customers too often. To help identify who they have texted recently, the customer service team updates a custom field titled “Last Contact” each time they connect with customers. During SMS marketing campaigns, marketers leave out contacts who have been contacted by customer service within the past week.
Include Professional Signatures
Certain customers are in regular contact with your teams. In those cases, they might be confused about who is texting them when they receive a message from your brand—even if your teams use separate numbers.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to ensure customers know exactly who is texting them. Simply include a signature with your department name on each text. These signatures let customers know who is contacting them, and how they should respond.
Theoretical Example: Vehicle Barn salespeople noticed that a lot of customers replied to test drive scheduling texts with customer service questions. To ensure customers knew exactly who was texting, they simply added a short signature, including their department, to the end of each text.
Use a Communal Business SMS Calendar
Your teams don’t want to over-text customers. If customers get annoyed by too many incoming texts, they may opt out of your business SMS program all together.
To prevent teams from sending too many texts to customers at once, your teams should create a shared business SMS content calendar. Just like any other content calendar, this calendar will help your teams avoid bombarding contacts with texts.
Theoretical Example: Happy Candy’s sales team noticed that their SMS list was getting smaller. After talking to SMS marketing, they realized that together they were connecting with leads nearly twice each week. They created a shared contact calendar. With its help, Happy Candy sends texts to customers once every other week. Their SMS list has grown since implementing this tactic.
Capitalize on Cross-Departmental Campaigns
A calendar helps teams refrain from over-texting customers, but that’s just the first step. Teams should also capitalize on cross-departmental campaigns.
Whether your department has a seasonal campaign or product campaign in mind, you can easily let other teams know. When they text customers, they can maintain a seasonal tone or mention the same product. This exposes the idea or product to the customer multiple times while ensuring your brand presents a unified front. Remember to check auto-replies across departments to ensure that customers don’t get multiple auto-replies when they begin replying to your campaign texts.
Theoretical Example: Cyber TV Subscriptions’ marketing team planned an SMS promotion campaign for an upcoming series. It let customer service teams know, so when agents texted with customers, they could mention the show when possible. By providing multiple touchpoints for the campaign, they helped increase viewings and subscriptions at the same time.
Log Business SMS Messages to your CRM
Business SMS platforms offer SMS integrations to help your business create a streamlined app ecosystem. An SMS CRM integration can be particularly useful for coordinating business SMS efforts between departments.
An SMS CRM integration will automatically store all messages from your business SMS platform to your CRM, ensuring that they are connected to the correct customer and case. This allows sales teams to track touchpoints alongside email and web, customer service teams to review previous conversations with customers, and marketing teams to see how customers react to SMS marketing campaigns.
Theoretical Example: Titan Tech’s sales team is careful about connecting with their many enterprise customers. Too many messages and they will shy away, but too little conversation and they won’t be tempted to purchase more features. To ensure they’re striking the perfect balance, Titan Tech’s sales team heads to their CRM before connecting with a customer, reviewing recent conversations to see when the last touchpoint was and through which channel.
Do your departments need assistance coordinating business SMS efforts? Our team can help.