How a utilities company saw the light with 2-way bulk SMS service

Using 2-way bulk SMS and live chat to improve

customer service and operational efficiency

Summary

In partnership with Difference Corp, a customer service telecom specialist, Comapi successfully leveraged the power of both 2-way bulk SMS and ‘Chat’, an element of their powerful SaaS tool, to provide a unique solution to a smart meter provider. The client manages a staff nationally of over 300, including call center staff and engineers, and wanted to co-ordinate efforts to become more economical with a regional devolution of process. Despite already using bulk SMS through an alternative provider, they were unaware of the vast potential of 2-way bulk SMS and did not have a solution to manage the scale of the conversations. They quickly discovered the extent of the impact it could have on their desired outcomes.

The Challenge

As an existing client benefitting from the services provided to their call centers, the client approached partners Difference Corp to better understand the capabilities and versatility of SMS after experiencing a high volume of ‘customer thwarts’, where customers would be unavailable for pre-booked appointments for the installation of their smart meters. This impacted the efficiency of both the engineer’s and the call center staff’s time and was identified as an area for great costsaving potential.

They were already using SMS for booking confirmation of appointments, but the solution was ineffective. With a period of discovery, Comapi, Difference Corp and the client worked together to recognize that the customers (and inturn the company) would benefit from a more holistic communication experience from the point of booking, through to installation and also beyond this with continuous educational measures in order to improve brand perception.

In order to adopt this holistic experience, the client would need to embrace a conversational approach to messaging instead of merely transactional, and would need to be a solution to help manage these conversations at scale in order to maintain efficiency of staff, and provide a frictionless customer experience.

The Solution

The clients took advantage of Comapi’s capability to send at scale at competitive rates in order to adopt a more complete approach to the customer journey, sending more than the single confirmation of booking they had done in the past. This provided the customer with a further reminder, reinforcing the likelihood of a successful installation. In addition, adopting 2way SMS immediately empowered both the end-consumer and the engineer to directly co-ordinate with each other to confirm appointments and rearrange if required. Engineers were able to better manage their scheduling and improve fuel efficiency by messaging customers if they were in the area installing other meters. This not only improved customer experience and brand perception, it far exceeded the client goal of reducing aborted bookings by 5%, and successfully reduced them by 38%. Conversations between the brand and customers have been fruitful, with 3374 responses out of 101,795 SMS sent over a period of 60 days, proving both a need and preference for 2-way messaging.

“Working with Comapi has delivered massive benefits for the client. It’s increased their presence and improved their branding, as well as resulting in a 38% reduction on aborted bookings. Their plan was to reduce it by 5%.

Agents and engineers utilised the power of Comapi’s live chat feature in the SaaS tool Contact in order to provide a seamless experience for end-customers. The client’s staff could see the entire chat history with the end-customer, all in one place, in order to provide efficient and contextual communication, at scale.

Looking forward

Seeing such an improvement in customer/brand relations has inspired the company to think about other ways they can leverage messaging channels. At the moment, engineers use a tablet to show the end-customers a video containing information about their smart meter, during the installation visit. They are considering using SMS with a URL, or a rich messaging service such as Facebook Messenger, RCS or WhatsApp to deliver this in future, as well as a way to send out survey campaigns to get more feedback on ways to better their customer experience. As an omnichannel provider, Comapi can meet these future requirements with ease.

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