Omnichannel messaging is a powerful strategy. Allowing customers and leads to connect with your teams through a wide variety of messaging channels, from native SMS to over-the-top apps like Facebook Messenger, encourages them to make contact and build strong relationships.
Your teams also love their internal messaging tools, like Slack and Microsoft Teams. But switching back and forth between your omnichannel platform and your internal chat tools can take up valuable time. That’s why you need to integrate the two channels.
An SMS internal chat tool integration empowers your two platforms to share data. This leads to a lot of great benefits. For example, your teams will be able to route incoming messages straight to a Slack channel, or reach out to customers right from a Microsoft Teams thread. These kinds of features empower your teams to keep their team coordination and customer outreach in a single, centralized place.
So how can you fully integrate your omnichannel platform with your internal chat tools? Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Choose an omnichannel messaging platform.
First and foremost, you need to choose an omnichannel messaging platform. An omnichannel messaging platform will allow your team to accept incoming messages from all sorts of platforms. It will accept any text messages from native SMS apps. It will also accept over-the-top app messages, like those from Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Google’s Business Messages, and more.
You should ensure that your omnichannel messaging platform:
- Routes all messages to a shared inbox, where your team members can easily reply
- Offers efficiency features, like assignments, so team members can organize incoming messages amongst themselves
- Integrates with additional apps, like your CRM, to connect your app ecosystem further
- Provides automations, so your team can reduce repetitive tasks like sending welcome texts to people who sign up for your SMS services.
You’ll also want to test out omnichannel platforms to ensure you find one that’s easy to use. There may be advanced features that you’ll need to read up on, but most features should feel intuitive.
Step 2: Integrate your omnichannel platform with your internal chat tool.
Next, you’ll need to integrate your omnichannel messaging platform with your internal chat tool or tools. Depending on your omnichannel messaging provider, this should be a pretty easy process. In fact, it should only take a few minutes. (Check out our Slack setup process for an example.)
A robust integration should empower your teams to:
- Receive and reply to all messages within one or more channels
- Reach out to contacts directly through your internal chat tool interface
- Organize customer conversations by folding them into threads
- Search for past messages within the internal chat tool.
These features will empower your team to connect with customers from within their favorite internal chat platforms. Team members can easily coordinate with one another, working together to provide top-notch customer service.
Step 3: Create a workflow.
Once you’ve set up the SMS internal chat integration, you can create a workflow. A set workflow will help your agents organize incoming messages and answer them more quickly. Your omnichannel messaging platform should make this process relatively easy, too. Regardless, you may want to wait until you feel comfortable using the platform to set workflows up. This way, you can have a better sense of what tasks you’d like to automate.
When you feel ready to take this next step, your team should:
- Create a channel to route shared inbox messages to or create multiple channels for multiple inboxes (for example, one shared inbox and channel per department)
- Invite relevant team members into their respective channels
- Decide whether to automatically or manually assign chats within channels.
Establishing a workflow for your SMS internal chat integration will help your teams get organized. You’ll know you have incoming messages arriving into the right channels, the right team members accessing them, and an easy way to distribute work within the team. With a streamlined workflow, your team will be able to answer customer chats faster than ever before.
Want to learn more about integrations? Check out our blog.