Call Centers Say Yes to Clickatell SMS and Save Millions

Company Releases New White Paper and Presents at Contact Centre World

(PresseBox) ( Redwood City, CA, )
Clickatell, leading global provider of mobile messaging solutions, today announced its work with First National Bank and Santam Insurance to raise customer satisfaction and reduce costs through SMS within their respective call centers.

According to a 2008 Aberdeen study surveying 4,500 respondents - concerns over a potential recession is a top-three business challenge for companies this year; in another study, Aberdeen found that 88% of best-in-class companies considered corporate profitability to be a key metric driving the need to manage telecom costs - including in the call center.

"We have all been there - we call for service only to be #134 in the queue when we simply need a balance update or tracking number. Consumers are increasingly mobile and interact with a myriad of companies through call centers, often using their mobile phones - they demand quick response times and easy to use systems," said Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell. "SMS provides an easy to use mobile solution that doesn't require long wait times or interactive voice response systems. To better serve mobile customers and save money, organizations with call centers should take advantage of text messaging."

In this month's CRMBuyer, results from the recent Aberdeen study found that 80% of best-in-class call centers are leveraging text messaging, and also concluded that there is a marked difference in adoption in non-best-in-class organizations which are not taking advantage of an opportunity to add cost effective touch point between a given company's expert resources and their customers through the use of text messaging.

Furthermore, the cost of using SMS for customer contact is proven to be a fraction of the cost of live agent communications as well as interactive voice response systems. UK-based call center analyst firm ContactBabel reported that live-agent service calls average ~$12 per call, while SMS costs pennies per message. SMS efficiently replaces the need for live agents, as well as IVR systems, for many simple service inquiries including order status, payment reminders, account activity alerts, delivery notifications, security alerts, and more, allowing live agents to spend time on dealing with more complex customer inquiries.

SMS Raises Customer Satisfaction; Saves Millions

With SMS, customers can rely on immediate, cost-effective and reliable text messages to be sent directly to mobile phones. In addition, SMS enhances "anytime, anywhere" automated self-service, enabling call center agents to reach customers and obtain real time responses from anywhere in the world.

First National Bank Customers Prefer SMS

"Our customers prefer SMS - it saves them the trouble of having to dial in to the call center or visit a branch to get the account information they need. With SMS our customer gets convenience and FNB saves money. In addition to delivering a better customer experience, SMS has also greatly reduced call center costs associated with communicating routine account information," explains Len Pienaar, chief executive of Mobile and Transact Solutions for First National Bank, who implemented its text-based inContact service in 2002 and has seen adoption achieve >80% of its entire retail customer base. Clickatell currently manages the SMS delivery for inContact in Namibia. "With the widespread use of mobile phones and innate understanding of text combined with our customers' desire to maintain active control of their finances, FNB's inContact has provided our customers with the ability to take advantage of their cell phone as a powerful banking tool."

Santam Insurance Sees Rapid SMS Adoption and Significant Cost Savings

"Interacting with customers through SMS costs a fraction of what a live agent costs are - so the cost savings for us have been tremendous. And, the communications are effective and pleasing to the customer which helps our business," says Fanus Coetzee, head of Santam Insurance Services Support, which has seen a 500% growth in SMS text alerts during claims processing which lead to significant cost reductions in live agent query handling. "Organizations across all industries should take full advantage of these cost savings by implementing text-based call center services in any industry - financial services or otherwise."

Text messaging can be easily integrated with any existing CRM or call center solution. Clickatell's easy-to-use APIs and developer tools provide one central point to quickly integrate new SMS capabilities into existing or new offerings. Its two-way SMS functionality provides a reply-path for customers to respond to call center messages. And, its extensive work with the carriers over the past eight years means that Clickatell can reach over 700 networks in more than 200 countries around the world.

To learn more about how to implement cost effective text-based call centers in any organization, Clickatell has published today a valuable white paper titled "SMS in the Call Center: How Mobile Messaging Can Increase Profits and Reduce Costs Immediately." To download, please visit

Clickatell is at the Contact Centres World Africa 2008 Conference this week in Johannesburg at the Sandton Convention Centre. Visit the conference today at noon to hear Deon Van Heerden, Clickatell's Director of the MEA region, present, "How SMS Can Enhance Your Call Center's Service Offering."
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