SoundBite Helps Sprint, Others Do Multichannel Proactive Customer Communications

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, IP Communications Magazines  |  August 01, 2010

This article originally appeared in the August 2010 issue of Unified Communications magazine.

Communications services is a dynamic business that requires telecom service providers to be in regular contact with their customers to offer promotions, provide bills and related reminders, and take other steps that can help them retain customers, build user loyalty and drive new revenues. SoundBite Communications Inc. helps companies like Sprint (News - Alert) do this kind of proactive customer communications.

The area of proactive customer communications, in fact, is $1.3 billion annual market, according to Forrester (News - Alert) Research.

Mark Friedman, chief marketing and business development officer at 10-year-old SoundBite says the company addresses not only collections and customer care, but also marketing and risk management. And while many of the top telecom providers are among its customers, SoundBite has more than 200 clients, about 50 of which are in the Fortune 500, including seven of top 10 issuing banks, five of the top 20 retailers, and eight of the top 20 utilities.

SoundBite outfits such businesses with SaaS (News - Alert)-based services based on its Engage platform, which allows for multichannel communications with customers. It supports business-to-customer communications via e-mail, voice and text.

For Sprint, SoundBite does a lot of work on the prepaid side related to communications with customers about replenishment of their prepaid minutes, for example, as well as welcome and alert calls to high-value customers, Friedman says. SoundBite also helps Sprint with payment reminders and activation, he adds.

Sprint recently called on SoundBite to help it do activation reminders and gather missing information from customer applications for the telco’s Assurance Wireless brand. And just last month the companies worked together to launch Sprint’s Common Cents effort, which lets customers pay via credit or debit card.

What makes SoundBite a unique partner for companies like Sprint, Friedman says, is its ability to deliver an integrated multichannel solution that also supports interactive messaging. For example, a SoundBite customer could send a text message to a subscriber, and that subscriber could respond with another messaging saying “balance” to request his or her current account balance.

Friedman adds that SoundBite also has “deep mobile capabilities,” which he says is key to interact with younger consumers. A third differentiator for SoundBite, he says, is preference management. By that he means that the company can help its clients understand how their customers want to be communicated with. Not only that, but SoundBite can look at the past behaviors of end users so its customers can understand what types of communications when have yielded the best results.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi