Taking Omnichannel Strategy to the Next Level – Structured Data Solutions

It’s budget planning season, and right now millions of sales, marketing and customer service leaders are thinking about how to make the most of their budgets.  Studies have shown that 80% of enterprises intend to deploy messaging-based experiences for their customers by 2020, and the contact center software market is expected to grow from $17.6B to $35.32 by 2023.

It’s no wonder that businesses are investing; the facts are clear that an omnichannel approach is what customers prefer and expect.  Research has shown that 89% of consumers want to text message with businesses, 82% of text messages are read within 5 minutes, and businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve a 91% greater year over year retention rate compared to businesses that don’t.

Businesses that have yet to deploy an omnichannel communication strategy are struggling to catch up, while others that may have already implemented SMS for notifications or basic two-way text messaging with customers and prospects are looking for ways to continue to streamline communications to drive revenue and customer satisfaction.  As VP of Client Services at Chatbox, I have the pleasure of working with some of our earliest adopters of omnichannel messaging. No strangers to the value of an omnichannel approach, these businesses are getting more value from their investment by exchanging structured data within the communication channels that customers prefer.

Structured data refers to things like forms, signatures, and surveys, which are usually not well suited to text messaging or live chat.  While a customer might have a good experience getting a quick question answered via text message, the experience degrades quickly if they need to place an order requiring name, billing address, payment information, shipping address, phone number, email, etc.  This type of structured data is best exchanged via a form. While SMS and live chat are preferred by most consumers, it is the need to exchange structured data that has prevented many businesses from fully supporting these channels. Below are just a few examples of businesses that are using Chatbox to take omnichannel messaging to the next level by using Instant Apps to support structured data exchange within SMS and live chat channels.

An Elegant Solution for Complex Work Orders

The Problem: A national facilities management company came to Chatbox looking for a better way to manage work orders with their busy, mobile service providers. Multiple phone calls and emails were needed to manage repair work, confirm completion with building owners and tenants, and receive invoices and pay contractors for completed work.

The Solution: Chatbox Instant Apps provided the solution needed to streamline the work order process to provide better and faster results for commercial real estate owners and tenants.  In a matter of minutes, and without any need for development resources, Instant Apps were built and deployed to allow tenants to request services and provide photos of damage.  Additional Instant Apps were deployed to allow contractors to accept jobs and notify management that they were onsite, to submit photos of completed work and get tenant sign-off on completion, to gather feedback from the tenant on the experience, and finally to submit an invoice back to the management company’s CRM.  Using Instant Apps allows tenants and contractors to complete all steps of their workflow from their smartphones, resulting in faster repair times, faster payment for contractors, and increased efficiency for office staff at the management company.

Legal Forms Are No Longer A Roadblock

The Problem: A national housing referral service had seen great results from texting with customers: a 40% increase in conversion for customers that texted with housing advisors. However, getting sign-off on legal forms was taking customers away from their preferred communication channels and slowing down “closing”.

The Solution: Using the Chatbox platform, the legal forms were deployed as Instant Apps, which allows the advisors to send them via SMS to customers.  Customers can review and e-sign the documents right from their phone with no download or install required. The signed forms are then synced in real-time with the company’s CRM.

A More Efficient Way to Gather Customer Feedback

The Problem: A financial services company who had been using Chatbox to provide real-time support to customers via live chat wanted a better way to collect customer feedback after an interaction.  They had been using a popular online survey tool, but were getting limited results due to the survey needing to be opened in a new browser tab, and the results needing to be manually aggregated and populated back into their backend systems.  

The Solution: Sending the survey via an Instant App immediately yielded better response rates. Furthermore, the customer feedback is synced in real-time with their backend systems, thus eliminating the manual work required with their previous process and allowing them to receive and act on feedback more quickly.

While businesses focus on deploying SMS and live chat for marketing, sales and support, those that are truly embracing omnichannel messaging are looking beyond just simple implementation of new channels, to include structured data exchange in their strategy.  To see a demo of Chatbox or to learn more, visit www.chatbox.com.

Kelli Clark has nearly 15 years of experience building and leading SaaS customer success and professional services teams that delight clients. After spending many years supporting SaaS AI solutions in the legal vertical, Kelli transitioned her focus to messaging platforms and conversational AI in 2016. As the VP of Client Services at Chatbox, Kelli assists clients with developing and deploying hyper-personalized messaging experiences at scale.
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