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Easily Send SMS Notifications to Agents & Customers using WSDesk WordPress HelpDesk Plugin
Texting is a highly popular mode of business communication. A lot of customers would prefer communication through SMS notifications rather than getting a call. This is particularly true for customer support communication. Another important advantage of text notifications is that you will be able to handle the workflow of your support team better. So, if you have an option to send SMS notifications to agents & customers at different points of a support query, it would be greatly helpful. In this article, we will discuss how WSDesk provides an easy option for setting up text notifications to agents & customers with the help of an add-on.
What are the requirements?
First, let’s discuss the tools that you require to set up notifications on your helpdesk:
WSDesk helpdesk plugin provides you a great option to set up customer support on your store. All your customer queries can be handled in the form of tickets from different sources. The plugin offers a large range of features to help you handle your customer support in the most efficient manner. There is no limits when it comes to the number of agents and tickets while using WSDesk. You can create as many agents and tickets as per your store’s requirement.
The Ajax-based interface is quick and easy to use. You can choose and modify the tickets view according to your liking pretty fast. If required, you will be able to set up custom views based on agents, ticket tags, source of the ticket, etc. It offers great scope for automation in the form of triggers and conditions to streamline the workflow of your customer support team. For example, you can set up notifications to support agents on tickets that need their special attention, or when a new ticket is created. We will discuss later in the article how you can set up SMS notifications for customers and agents using this feature and the add-on.
It offers email pulling feature, where emails sent to your support email id will be automatically converted to tickets. In order to reduce the workload of your support agents, WSDesk offers an option to use canned responses for frequent, repeating queries. WSDesk offers comprehensive reporting features as well. You will find options to generate reports on a variety of aspects such as agent, date, satisfaction survey, ticket resolution, etc. You can easily make back ups and restore them as required using an XML file while using WSDesk. Moreover, WSDesk offers seamless integration with WordPress eCommerce platforms such as WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.
With the help of this add-on, you will be able to send text notifications to agents & customers based on specific triggers on your help desk created by WSDesk. Some of these conditions will be a new ticket created, assigned the ticket to a particular agent, when a reply is sent for the ticket, etc. Please note, this add-on will work only if you have WSDesk already installed on your store. Also, you need to have an account with the cloud communication platform Twilio for this add-on to work with WSDesk.
With the help of this ad-on, you can send text notifications to customers on a variety of conditions. These conditions include new ticket creation, reply to a ticket, assigning ticket to an agent, ticket received from a specific source, etc. For agents too, there are several conditions when a notification will be sent. For example, when a new ticket is assigned to them, or when a customer replies to a ticket. If yours is a WooCommerce store, you can use this add-on to send notifications to agents when a ticket is raised in connection to a particular product that is previously linked to them.
The add-on also offers an option to create custom messages by including several properties of the ticket. These include ticket Id, assignee, date, last reply, etc.
Twilio is an open source cloud communication platform that will help with sending and receiving phone calls, sms notifications, etc., using their web services API. It has a great API success rate to ensure the tools that use it has a smooth functioning. Twilio offers good security options that includes ISO 27001 and GDPR Privacy Shield compliance. More importantly, with Twilio you will pay only based on what you use. Furthermore as the volume of communication increases, you will find offers and discounts as well.
How to integrate all this to send SMS Notifications to Agents & Customers?
Now let’s take a look at the process by which you can integrate all these tools to send SMS notifications to agents & customers.
Step 1: Get Twilio credentials
For this to work, you have to get WSDesk as well as the WSDesk notification add-on already installed on your WordPress site. Now, you will have to register on Twilio and get the credentials. Once you register on your Twilio account, you will get an Account SID and Auth Token from the Twilio dashboard. In addition, you need to generate a phone number as well to send notifications from. You can find the detailed steps for all this in our documentation.
You can use Twilio free account for basic uses. With the free account, you will have to verify each of the recipient’s phone number on your Twilio account. This need not be done if you have a premium account with Twilio. Also, you can remove the Twilio brand name from the texts if you are using a premium account.
Now, you can go to the settings page of the add-on, and add the Twilio credentials.
Step 2: Adding Twilio credentials to WSDesk SMS Notification Add-on
On the settings page of the add-on, you will see the fields to add the phone number, Account SID, and AUTH token. Enter these details and click the Submit button.
Step 3: Create a trigger on WSDesk for SMS notifications
As you probably know, WSDesk works by conditions and actions. You have to specify a condition based on an event on your support system, for example, received a new ticket.
Now, based on these conditions, you can specify an action from a range of available actions. The actions include changing the ticket label, changing or adding tags, send an email notification to particular users, etc. You can read more about adding a trigger on WSDesk in this documentation.
With the help of the add-on, there will be a new trigger action “Notification – > SMS to” in addition to the default actions. You can use this and specify other details as required for each specific case.
SMS notifications to customers and agents will be triggered when a specified event or condition happens on your WSDesk help desk.
What are the advantages of setting up SMS notifications on your help desk?
Sending SMS notifications to agents & customers is a great way to improve your customer satisfaction as well as to streamline your workflow management. Let us look at a few reasons how sending SMS notifications to customers & agents will benefit your business.
Engage customers better
Text notifications can have better reach than emails. So when you are sending an SMS notification to customers when their support query has been answered, they are going to find that out faster. This is a direct way to encourage customer engagement with the brand. In fact, you are reaching the customer through more than one channel, and that will have a positive impact on brand building as well.
Alert agents promptly
If you are managing a WooCommerce store, your customer service department will be organized based on several aspects. Sometimes, you will have a separate department or particular agents who have specialized in certain products. When a query is raised with regard to these products, you may want to alert the agent fast. SMS notifications might prove to be especially useful in such scenarios.
Enhance customer experience
As it is one of the important differentiating factors, every modern business will be striving to improve their customer experience always. Being able to continuously engage customers through SMS notifications will surely help to improve customer experience. Moreover, customers will be able to promptly respond or provide additional information required for the resolution.
Best practices while sending SMS notifications to agents & customers
You need to follow a set of best practices while sending SMS notifications to agents & customers. Let us look at a few suggested by experts.
Create useful templates
While creating SMS notifications, make sure you are including relevant information in the content. Also, make sure the text is customized according to the recipient. With the WSDesk add-on, you can customize the template to include various properties of the ticket in the text.
Take necessary permissions
Always make sure you take prior permission to send automated notifications to customers. Also ensure that the personal data of customers is protected.
Test it thoroughly
Test your SMS notification thoroughly before implementing it. This should ensure that customers using different telecom carriers, or in different time zones, are all able to receive your notifications.
Do not overdo it
You need to make sure that the SMS notifications to agents & customers are relevant and adding value to your workflow and customer management. Make sure all the automated notifications are useful, and if not reduce unnecessary events from triggering a notification.
Hope this article has pointed you in the right direction to set up SMS notifications to agents & customers using WSDesk help desk plugin, SMS notification add-on, and Twilio API. Please refer to our documentation to understand all the nuances of WSDesk plugin. If you have any query, please do not hesitate to contact our support team.