Text Me Maybe

NCR Silver customer support

Blondie wanted you to call her anytime. Carly Rae Jepsen wanted you to call her maybe.

If you’re an NCR Silver user, you can also call us  — any day or time, including holidays — and IM or text us, too.

But when should you call? And when should you consider another medium?

Dylan Warrens, NCR Silver alternative support manager, has you covered.

“You’ll never be on hold via chat. We always answer.”

– Dylan Warrens, NCR Silver

Since January, he’s been NCR Silver users’ primary point of contact behind the screen.

NCR Silver contacts

Contacts into NCR Silver customer support in July 2016.

Warrens and his team during the month of July 2016 answered nearly 2,600 IMs and 180 texts from customers with technical questions.

That’s still considerably below the number of calls, at nearly 4,200. But it doesn’t need to be, according to Warrens.

“The phone is still a great way to solve complicated problems,” Warrens says. “What I don’t like about a phone call is that only one person can be helped at time.”

When to text

customer support

Dylan in the NCR Silver 24-hour customer support center in metro Atlanta.

Texting isn’t for everyone. For a younger demographic, however, it’s often the preferred form of communication.

What Warrens likes about texting is the same thing he doesn’t like about calls.

“I can have up to eight conversations at one time,” Warrens says. “You certainly can’t do that with voice.”

There are hurdles with texting, though. Efficient communications depend on cell coverage. In addition, complicated problems might take too long. It also may be cumbersome to type on a virtual keyboard.

Here are some scenarios in which texting can come in handy:

  • If you don’t want a customer to see you on the phone. (You can be discreet, and actually help the customer at the same time.)
  • If you don’t have immediate access to your back office or POS.
  • When a contact started via phone, social or IM and you only need a quick follow up.
  • When you have a quick question.
  • If you need to share visuals. (Just text an image of your problem, and voila!)

“Recently,” says Warrens, “a large franchise customer’s Internet went out. Making matters worse, our phone lines were unusually busy. Via text, they sent me a picture, which let me fix the problem in three minutes. If we were doing this by phone, it might have taken close to 30 minutes.”

When to IM

You can “instant message,” or chat online, with Warrens and his team via your back office.

“If you have a reporting discrepancy, online chat is great,” he says. “Also, try chatting when the phone is tied up or when you have a bad cell phone connection. You’ll never be on hold via chat. We always answer.”

Here are some scenarios in which IMing can come in handy:

  • Like texting, when you don’t want the customer to see you on the phone or when you need to share images.
  • When you have a question that is too in-depth for text but not super complicated.
  • When you have bad cell phone coverage.
  • When there’s a wait time for calling.

When to call

If you do call, you'll reach a friendly, knowledgable agent. You probably won't reach this model.

If you call, you’ll reach a friendly, knowledgable agent. You probably won’t reach this model.

The most complicated of questions should be handled by phone. Also, you might not always have access to a computer to chat.

Like any business, there are good times, and not so good times, to call. Warrens says Saturdays are busier than Sundays. In addition, he says, calls increase about 20 percent at the end of the month because of credit reconciliations.

Due to higher staffing rates, Warrens recommends customers to call in during normal business hours if an issue can wait (although they always welcome calls on the weekend or during the small hours).

In particular, the contact center tends to see fewer calls on Wednesdays.

“If you’re going to get a wait, it’s probably going to be Monday or Saturday,” he says. “On the flip side, there’s a good chance you won’t have to wait on Wednesdays.”

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