People respond faster to a text message than they do to voicemail or email. It’s a trend that has emerged in our spectacularly digital age and is here to stay. Relegated to history is the landline, even email. In fact, SMS (Short Message Service) text messages have a phenomenal open rate of 98 percent—which no other marketing tool comes close to matching. Combine that with the 4.5 billion mobile users in the world (smartphones and feature phones, since SMS works on both) and you have a market worthy of leveraging any way you can.
Businesses today are doing just that. They’re taking advantage of widespread SMS usage to cement relationships with their customers. Restaurants are confirming reservations. Nail salons are making appointments. Online shops are increasing sales by answering customer questions on the spot. It’s a whole new world—and today’s tech-savvy consumers love it!
OwnerListens is aimed at helping other businesses take their customer experience to new heights by improving their communication techniques. Its Message Mate product—already known for its texting capability that enables businesses to respond to customer texts via SMS, email or dashboard—was positioned to grow but was being held back by a lack of available phone numbers, costs and jumbled messages.
As explained by Eli Lipstein, Head of Product at OwnerListens, the company was facing a couple challenges when it came to optimizing customer satisfaction. About a year ago, the Palo Alto, California, startup determined that some shortcomings on the part of its two providers, Twilio and Nexmo, needed to be addressed. One provider was expensive, and handled long text messages (over 160 characters) poorly - they became jumbled when transmitted. The other was not responding quickly to requests for additional phone numbers and had extremely limited availability.
Without easily available phone numbers to assign its clients, OwnerListens was finding it difficult to provide the level of service their customers expected.
Plus, OwnerListens wanted to bring a new service to its customers: text-enabled landlines. “Neither Twilio nor Nexmo were able to do that for us cost-effectively or quickly,” Lipstein stated.
“Thankfully, Zang came along,” said Lipstein. “It was a game changer for us.” OwnerListens now relies on the Zang platform for its customer-service interface apps and messaging service. The company’s messages are handled quickly and privately using its Zang-built mobile SMS-enabled service. Lipstein reports that Zang was able to quickly give OwnerListens greater functionality at a reasonable price.
He acknowledged that there were some bumpy spots along the way, but that Zang was able to troubleshoot those away. “We learned a lot going through the process, which is going to help us enable the landlines as well,” Lipstein reported. “The support channel has been great.”
OwnerListens is eager to text-enable its clients’ existing landlines so that they can offer their customers text messaging over the same phone numbers their customers have come to know. This is important because those numbers are also part of their identification (and find-ability) on search engines like Google. “They can’t use another number,” reasoned Lipstein, “so being able to text-enable it is crucial.”
Right now, the company is in the process of moving all its phone numbers over to Zang so they’re all in one place. “That’s how confident we are that Zang is really the provider for us,” said Lipstein.
For more information about how Zang’s all-in-one cloud communications platform can help improve the customer experience you deliver, join Zang Product Manager Jeff Hodson and OwnerListens Head of Marketing Shannan Guillory for a Zang Meetup from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 3, at the Avaya Headquarters in Santa Clara, California. Take this opportunity to talk to Zang developers about how to add voice and messaging capabilities to your web and mobile applications. Click here to find an upcoming event in your area.