Instaply entered the customer service fray today with its launch and release of its Mobile Customer Interaction Platform (MCIP), a product that allows customers and businesses to communicate with another via text messages.
The Power of the Text
Short, informative messages or texting through mobile phones is becoming a common way for people to talk to their family, colleagues and friends. Despite the fact that texting could also be used for customer service conversations, there hasn't yet been a tool created for this purpose. This changes today as Instaply has released its Mobile Customer Interaction Platform for Android and iOS.
The MCIP helps customers contact businesses who are text-friendly with questions or concerns about a product or service without having to wait on hold with a call center or stay at their computer to talk through a chat function. With MCIP customers can reach a business quickly and easily from anywhere – as long as they have their mobile device handy. As for businesses, they have to register with the MCIP to be included on its available businesses list and from there they can chat with customers and expand their consumer base.
When it comes to contacting businesses, the existing communication channels are too restrictive, slow and unsatisfying and break down rather than build up relationships," said Fabien Degaugue the CEO of Instaply. "With Instaply, customers and businesses can finally keep in touch and enjoy great customer relationships via texting.”
Along these features, customers also don't have to worry about giving out their phone number as they are contacting a business through an app, instead of calling into a customer service line or filling out a contact form that asks for a phone number. Customers are also able to recommend businesses to join the Instaply directory.
Business should note that Instaplay has an “Average Response Time” stipulation, which means that a business must respond to texts with an hour, depending on its working hours, or it will be removed from the directory. A removed business can still be found through the platform’s search function, but it won't be as noticeable to new customers browsing available businesses. Once a business gets its response time back to under an hour it will be re-added to the list.
Currently, Instaplay, which is based in San Francisco has a mostly local clientele. Business from this area include Cole Hardware, NewTree Café, Franciscan Hobbies, Henri Hubert and CoCo Spa.
Keeping in Contact with Customers
While Instaply identifies itself as the first text-based customer service tool, there are a variety of other chat tools that have recently been updated that could help business to customer communication. Oracle recently added Live Chat Capabilities to the Oracle RightNow CX Cloud, Microsoft intergrated Google’s chat function into Outlook.com and Skydrive and LiveChat was recently updated with new features such as canned responses, message previews and chat supervision.