We have a great solution! While your callers are on hold, tell them they can text you instead! A simple phrase like "Text your zip code to 898211 and a specialist will text you back". And if you're not ready for full time exposure, add this phrase during your busy time or during a storm warning (hurricanes, tornadoes or in the days following these events). Your community will love you for it!
Why offer text for live support? Pew Research recently reported Americans under 55 now text more than they make voice calls, email, combined. Pew also reports Americans would prefer to text contact centers for live support over voice calls. Gen-Y grew up texting and it's this generation and those that follow that have come to expect it.
Everyday, thousands of people try to text agencies like 2-1-1 and they receive a message like: "error Invalid Number. Please resend using a valid number." 898211 (TXT211) is a destination for people to text that can support the capacity and bandwidth needed for secure, reliable communications across the network.
We also believe you'll save time and money! With our platform you can triage for additional information like age, gender, reason for texting etc, so that your clients enter your queue more qualified for the referral you're about to text them. Our platform shares similarities with an email inbox so that a new "texter" enters the queue and can be texted an auto-response that gives them information on when they can expect a text back. Like email, specialists can respond to the queue at their leisure, one at a time or open multiple encounters. The pace of text I&R is slower than a voice call and therefore more conducive to managing multiple encounters simultaneously. Individuals may text while they're on the bus, cooking dinner, waiting in line at the DMV and if they're interrupted, they may not reply right away.
Many 2-1-1s are finding that the I&R encounter has changed over the past few years with more Americans dropping out of the middle class as they struggle to pay their bills and keep food on the table. More than ever before, 2-1-1 is a lifeline. Texting is highly effective with crisis because people are more willing to reach out for help and discuss personal issues, when they can do so by text.
Also, you're able to text referrals instead of dictate them back over the phone, which will save time and decrease errors. The referrals are going to the exact location where they're most likely going to be put to use, their mobile phone. Phone numbers and addresses are all clickable so they will go straight into a voice call, or straight into their maps application, which will save your client time and help ensure they put those referrals to use.
How Do I Get Started?
If you're already a client you can modify your automated recording and start today. Simple.
For all others, we encourage you to pilot this strategy! On us! Get Started Now!