Shaking the Tree: TSG Invests in Apps to Expedite Business Text Adoption


Shaking the Tree: TSG Invests in Apps to Expedite Business Text Adoption

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  March 03, 2015

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? What about if a customer texts a company at a number that’s not text enabled? The answer to the first question remains a matter of debate. The result in both cases, however, is essentially the same: It ends up on the floor.

That may be the natural order of things in the forest, but in the business environment it’s not a healthy situation. A growing number of people prefer to send instant messages rather than talk on the phone, so businesses without the ability receive and respond to those text messages are losing out on valuable opportunities to build customer loyalty and generate new business, says TSG Global CEO Noah Rafalko.

The challenge, however, is that businesses are being inundated with an array of new technologies, and adapting to all the different channels through which customers want to communicate can be a real challenge. Clearly, Rafalko says, there is a need in the marketplace to simplify the process. That is now possible via Green-bot, an application from a startup of the same name incubated by TSG Global.

Green-bot is a cloud solution that helps businesses of all sizes easily and immediately capture and respond to messages from an array of sources, and to do it in an auditable way. It works across all channels – including Facebook, Twitter (News - Alert), Yammer, and all the various flavors of SMS and text messages – and creates a funnel to let businesses deal with such communications in a consistent and integrated way.

TSG is partnering with companies like Green-bot to bring texting to the masses. TSG enables service providers to text-enable their numbers at the infrastructure level, Rafalko says, but the company discovered it was also important to have an application that service providers and enterprises could use to put text-enabled numbers to work without forklift upgrades. Green-bot is that application, and it’s just one of what TSG expects to be a collection of solutions from partner companies that will help drive adoption of the infrastructure-level capabilities that TSG provides.

Contact centers are leveraging Green-bot to alert agents and managers that a chat is waiting, and to notify customers who text in requests that their communications have been received and that the contact center is locating an agent with whom they can chat. It also can present details to receiving agents about why the customer sent the text, and it can pick up on key words and trigger events or automated responses based on those words. All of the above mean customers can communicate via text rather than voice, and that businesses can do the same – enabling them to handle five times the amount of customer inquiries within the same time period, and saving money in the process.

If your organization has a process – such as asking customers if they want to buy a product, answering lead requests, collecting complaints, inviting a community to contact it with information, or scheduling staff to work tomorrow’s shift – Green-bot can handle it in a way that radically reduces the number of staff needed to do the job, says Thomas Howe (News - Alert), Green-bot’s architect and a serial entrepreneur in the communications arena. The average contact center cost of handling a complaint is $7.50, he says; Green-bot can remove 60 percent of that cost.

Green-bot has the added appeal of being able to support 40 languages and bringing customer service into the new world of communications, Howe says.

“You know what it’s like to call a business and wait on hold,” he comments, “but your kids won’t.”

Instead, they will leverage services and technologies like texting to send out their requests and go about their business while those on the receiving end of their inquiries seek solutions.

There’s also an important compliance angle to Green-bot, which is especially important for such verticals as financial and medical.

Green-bot and TSG recently engaged with a financial organization that wanted its brokers to be able to text for work purposes but couldn’t allow it because the organization’s wireless service provider wouldn’t provide the necessary information to create an audit trail for this practice. However, Green-bot and TSG enabled the business to once again allow its brokers to text. That was possible because Green-bot keeps a record of everything that is said in text messages.

This is yet another way Green-bot adds value for TSG and the service providers and end users that leverage its texting solutions.

“Green-bot takes that raw electricity TSG offers and polishes it all up so carriers and other companies can manage something that’s an ever-growing challenge for enterprises,” says Rafalko of TSG.

To learn more about TSG Global, visit the website at or text Noah directly at (617) 500-2900.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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