Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Growing Role of SMS Messaging in the Business World

Short message service (SMS) is better known as text messaging or texting in many social circles, but its use in business services has increased over the past three years. The message can be transmitted to any cell phone and simplifies concise communication. This makes it easier for businesses to reach their employees and their customers.

History

The first text message was sent in December of 1992. SMS messages were designed to transmit at up to 160 characters and up to 190 bytes. According to data analysis firm Forrester, there was a 14 percent jump in SMS usage between 2010 and 2011. There are now more than 2.2 trillion SMS message sent every year in the U.S. That’s about 6 billion per day.

Benefits

If you’re trying to streamline your communication time with employees and customers, SMS offers a number of benefits to your business.

  • Allows 24-hour access from SMS-capable mobile devices.
  • Clients can send text messages to customer service reps.
  • Shortens the amount of time it takes to communicate.
  • Alerts contacts to important information quickly.
  • Lets customers know when orders are ready.
  • Provides delivery confirmation as requested.
  • Improves customer service response times.
  • SMS messages can be sent in batches.

Uses

SMS messaging can be used for a variety of purposes. Supervisors can let employees know of changes in meeting times, office hours or scheduling. They can also be used for marketing, such as announcements of sales and specials, or to let clients know that a service technician is on the way.

SMS messaging is one of the call center services and notification options we offer at AmeriCall. To learn more about our capabilities – and yours – contact us at 1-800-964-3556.

Going Green With Call Center Technology

Responsible businesses are always looking for ways to lower their impact on the environment. At AmeriCall, we’ve been reducing our carbon footprint in a number of areas as we help our clients to do the same.

Telecommuting

Eliminating the need for people to drive to and from the office every day is a green business practice that has a significant impact on the environment. Telecommuting does more than keep cars off the road and vehicle pollution out of the air. It reduces fuel consumption and eliminates the need for extra furniture and office supplies.

Using Less Energy

Between our efforts at centralizing and virtualizing our workforce, and providing call center services for our clients to help them do the same, AmeriCall is lowering the amount of energy consumed by everyday business practices. In particular, we have created our own virtual cloud. Our employees can access their work and our desktop technology from a secure virtual location.

Virtual Servers

By using virtual servers, we can run multiple servers on one machine. This increases reliability and reduces the amount of energy needed to fuel our call center services.

If your company is looking into greener business practices to minimize your carbon footprint, we invite you to consider outsourcing office staff and call center services through AmeriCall. We handle interactive voice response, class and seminar registration, inbound and outbound call center services and other eco-friendly customer service solutions.

Appointment Scheduling Services Protect Insurance Agents from Busy Phones

Insurance adjusters have busy schedules. Appointments pop up quickly and need immediate attention. It can be difficult for an insurance agency to keep up with scheduling, especially if it’s for a small office. Clients can be frustrated when the office or their agent is difficult to reach. One alternative is to handle all appointments and scheduling issues through an inbound customer service call center. This enables each customer to have personalized attention when they call without interrupting the insurance agent.

Booking

The initial call to book an appointment eliminates the common back-and-forth phone tag that is often required to reach a busy adjuster. Using an outsourced inbound call center for appointment scheduling immediately connects the customer with a friendly and professional voice who can give them immediate attention. A scheduled appointment is then booked for the agent to return the call. The insurance agents can check their up-to-date schedules online through a secure portal at their convenience, whether they’re out in the field, at the office or at home.

With a busy schedule, new appointments can be booked even when the agent is constantly on the phone or unavailable to callers. This feature eliminates the feeling that some customers get that someone is too busy to take their call and they might as well take their business elsewhere. A full-service inbound call center can work within a range of requirements, including taking down certain types of background details, client ID numbers and contact information. This further reduces the amount of time that the insurance adjuster has to spend on the phone with the client.

Confirming

A busy schedule means that every appointment slot counts. Full-service inbound call center services can also confirm appointments the day before to minimize holes in the schedule created by clients who have forgotten about their appointments or who no longer need assistance.

Cancelling

In the insurance business, it’s not unusual to be pulled away from one project to work on another. Cancelling appointments is never a good practice, but when it becomes necessary, a call center service can handle it professionally and politely. With access to the adjuster’s schedule, the appointments can be rebooked.

To learn more about AmeriCall’s inbound appointment scheduling for insurance agents and professionals in other industries, contact us today.

Market Research drives Campaigns for Politicians in a Non-Election Year

With no presidential election this year, the focus of voters for the Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 Election Day campaign will focus more on state and regional offices, especially hotly contested gubernatorial and mayoral races. For local politicians, this is a chance to grab the spotlight and garner more attention from regional voters. Taking the temperature of potential voters through pre-election polls can be done through market research. Since campaign staff for local candidates is typically small, it’s more difficult for them to conduct polls. This can be handled by a professional company whose outbound telemarketing centers conduct surveys and market research on a regular basis. Here’s a look at how market research and poll calls can work for a political candidate in a non-presidential election year.

Who’s Voting?

Non-presidential election year voter turnout is traditionally lower than years when there is a national office at stake. Statistics from a study conducted by the Department of Public and international Affairs at GeorgeMasonUniversity confirm this fact. In 2010, for example, 41 percent of the voting-eligible population (VEP) cast their votes on Election Day. In 2012, the VEP percentage was 58 percent. When planning a regional election campaign, candidates can conduct market research to find out how many of their constituents plan to hit the voting booths on Nov. 5. This can greatly impact the shape and tenor of their campaign.

What Are The Issues?

One way to convince voters that their voices will be heard is to find out what issues they are concerned about and address them in the campaign. A market research poll can distinguish between the importance placed by voters on state funding for schools versus road improvements, for example.

Manpower

Surveys and market research take time and effort. They also take a certain amount of skill to coax people to share their personal opinions about politics. A company with trained professionals can successfully conduct telephone polls about issues, popularity and voter turnout.

As Election Day 2013 draws closer and state and regional elections are heating up, it’s becoming more important for candidates to put their fingers on pulse of the VEP. AmeriCall can assist political candidates in pointing their campaigns in the right direction by gaining critical information from surveys and market research. Contact our office today to find out how.