Considering that current forecasts estimate that as many as 8 trillion text messages will be sent in 2011, and that people are increasingly turning away from landlines in preference to mobile communication, SMS is becoming an increasingly important part of a business’ communication strategies. And this is especially relevant when it comes to customer service.
As businesses move to incorporate SMS into customer service and CRM, they face several challenges, among them the fact that customers often have separate numbers for voice and text and that messages sent from devices or SMS apps outside of the company’s CRM system are tricky to manage and record for quality.
M5, the provider of VoIP and phone services for businesses, is today partnering with Bluewolf (a business consulting firm) to announce a handy tool (called “M5 Business SMS”) aimed at solving these problems by enabling a company’s customers to text from their mobile phone using their business number, saving them the hassle of having to use two different numbers or having to use their personal cell numbers for business communications.
But what’s most noteworthy here is that M5 is partnering with Salesforce to integrate this SMS feautre directly into Salseforce’s CRM software. This means that business users can now send and receive SMS messages using their business telephone number, integrating all text-based communication into Salesforce’s “Service Cloud”, which in turn allows customer service teams to make SMS messaging a measurable service cannel. According to M5, incoming SMS messages will automatically become part of cases, enabling Salesforce clients to track conversations and keep a complete record of customer communications.
And, seeing as a business phone number is used as the channel for SMS, users no longer need to have their own separate phone numbers. For businesses, SMS is a great tool for service issue or order status updates, appointment confirmations, purchase authorizations, to name a few. And as businesses increasingly interact with their customers via text, it becomes of equal importance for these businesses to track and analyze these customer interactions and compare to business data to ensure quality customer care and service.
Not to mention, for those 82,000-plus Salesforce customers, offering the ability to send and receive SMS messages from their business telephone numbers, eliminating the need for a separate texting app or phone number, definitely comes in handy.
For more, check out the M5 Business SMS solution for Salesforce here.