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Clickatell's SMS Services Helps Bank Save Millions

August 22, 2008

Clickatell, a company providing mobile messaging solutions, has announced its services for First National Bank and Santam Insurance, in which Clickatell will implement SMS service in the call centers of the two companies for raising customer satisfaction and reducing costs for customer interaction.

According to a study conducted by Aberdeen in this month's CRMBuyer, 80 percent of top-notch call centers have been deploying text messaging for interaction with customers.
Using SMS for customer contact has proved to be a much cheaper option in comparison with deploying live agent communications or interactive voice response systems. ContactBabel, a call center analyst firm from the UK has said that the average cost of deploying a live-agent service is about $12 per call, while the cost of SMS is a few pennies per message. For a number of simple inquiries like order status, payment reminders, account activity alerts, delivery notifications, security alerts etc., SMS proves to be a much better substitute for live agents and IVR systems, thereby enabling the live agents focus upon dealing with more complex customer inquiries.
Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell, said that it is quite a common experience that one needs to simply know a balance update or a tracking number, and one calls #134 only to be in the queue. Villiers noted that nowadays consumers are increasingly mobile and interact with a myriad of companies through call centers, often using their mobile phones, hence they demand quick response times and easy to use systems.
Villiers added that SMS provides an easy to use mobile solution that doesn't require long wait times or interactive voice response systems, hence to better serve mobile customers and save money, organizations with call centers should take advantage of text messaging.
SMS makes customers confident about immediate, cost-effective and reliable text messages to be delivered directly to their mobile phones. Also, SMS provides an automated self-service that is available every time and everywhere, ensuring that call center agents can access customers and receive real time responses from them irrespective of their location in the world.
Len Pienaar, chief executive of mobile and transact solutions for First National Bank, commented that the bank's customers prefer SMS as 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.
The bank had deployed its text-based named inContact service in 2002 and more than 80 percent of its entire retail customer base has adopted the service.

Arvind Arora is a contributing editor for ContactCenterSolutions. To read more of Arvind's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Eve Sullivan