Avochato is a platform that provides your sales, service and marketing teams with the ability to communicate with customers and prospects via text messages, calls and live chat.
The question you might be asking is this: “Why use Avochato when we can simply text or call from our phone?”
Avochato can help internal teams work smarter by collaborating using shared inboxes, as well as benefiting from a wide range of automation features including automated responses and templates. The integration with Salesforce means you can work from the Avochato platform or directly within Salesforce depending on your needs, and all communication is displayed in Salesforce creating a complete picture of your customer.
This in-depth review will dive into Avochato’s features, ideal use cases, setup effort, and the potential impact that adding this app to your Salesforce stack could bring.
Let’s dive in!
UI and Navigation
As usual, I started by looking at the Avochato user interface and navigation. As an Avochato user, you can view the platform in several different places, so it is easily accessible no matter what you’re doing.
Note: this review was written using Avochato’s Pro Plan edition.
Avochato Web Browser
You can log in to your Avochato account via the web browser. As long as you have set up your Salesforce integration, all communications done through Avochato will also appear in Salesforce.
Salesforce Avochato Tab
Avochato comes with a ready made “Avochato” tab in Salesforce which looks and acts just like the Avochato site.
You can add the Avochato widget to any Salesforce record page, where you will see all communication related to that record.
Salesforce Utility Bar
You can also add the Avochato widget to the utility bar which is then available from any page in the Salesforce App you are using.
Shared Inbox & Teams
In Avochato you have the ability to create “Accounts” – not to be confused with Salesforce Accounts! Accounts in Avochato are phone numbers associated with a collaborative inbox. The inbox can then be shared with a team, for example, the West Coast Sales Team or the Help Desk Team. Anything sent from that Account is associated with a specific phone number or set of numbers and shared with specific users.
Each Account has its own settings and integrations; this means that some or all of your Accounts could be integrated to Salesforce and control their own integration options such as the ability to sync calls and texts as tasks in Salesforce.
In addition, each Account has its own settings which determine office hours, auto assignment, templates and so on.
Users can be invited to join the team and then added to features such as auto-assignment rules. Once they have access to the Account, users can view the communications and accept ownership of conversations. In this way, teams can collaborate and share the workload.
Avochato further supports your team with features such as auto-assignment and skills based routing (more on these later).
As briefly touched on above, Avochato has amazing integration with Salesforce that is highly configurable depending on your needs and the needs of individual inboxes.
Each Account can choose to:
- Automatically create Tasks in Salesforce for all Avochato text messages and calls, and call notes.
- Sync Avochato Activity to a Custom Object
- Create a Salesforce Case for New Conversations
- Create Salesforce Records for Missing Contacts
- Sync Avochato Contact updates to Salesforce Record Fields
- Enable Person Accounts
- Attribute Inbound Activity to the Conversation Owner
- Sync Auto-Responses as Tasks in Salesforce
- Sync Broadcast Messages as Tasks in Salesforce
Let’s look at some of these in a bit more detail.
Automatically create Tasks in Salesforce
No need to worry about what happens to your calls, texts and notes in Avochato. The Salesforce integration means they automatically get synced against the relevant Salesforce record.
Create a Salesforce Case for New Conversations
Avochato will create a Case in Salesforce and when the conversation is marked as closed, will add the conversation trail to the Case.
Create Salesforce Records for Missing Contacts
Avochato will use the phone number to try to identify an existing Lead or Contact in Salesforce. If no matching record can be found, Avochato will create a new Lead. If that Lead is converted to a Contact in Salesforce, any updates or communication will automatically be assigned to the new Contact record.
Sync Avochato Contact updates to Salesforce Record Fields
When you update a Contact in Avochato, it will also update the record in Salesforce.
It all starts with enabling your customers to get in touch with you using their preferred communication method, and what better way, than by using a widget on your website? You can add your Avochato phone number to your website, an advert, or you can use Avochato to create bespoke chat widgets you embed on your website.
The widget enables your customer to start an instant conversation with you, as well as the ability to opt in to future communications.
Templates & Automated Responses
Now that your customers have an amazing way to easily get in touch, you need to be sure your team can respond in a timely and uniform manner.
Avochato offers many time saving automation solutions to support your team.
There will be occasions when your team will need to send repetitive messages, for example, you might want to send an initial response when you receive a message that reads “Thank you for contacting us, an operative will be with you shortly”.
In my example below, I have created a template to end my conversations.
I can name my template, enter a message, personalize using variables and even include attachments.
The use of variables means my template can be used by any team member working in this inbox and the $AGENT_NAME variable will be replaced by the relevant name.
Adding a template is super simple. At the bottom of any chat, I’ll click the symbol with three horizontal lines and start typing to search for my template.
Avochato offers a huge amount of flexibility; if needed, I can even personalize the template before sending my response.
Templates are great, but they do still require some input from your team. Auto responses take automation one step further by recognising a key word and sending an auto response without any input from the operative.
Very cool but also seriously powerful. A word of warning – plan your keywords carefully. Auto responses will be sent even if an operative is engaged in a live conversation!
It’s also worth noting that auto responses only fire when the key word is the only word in the message received.
In my example below, I’ve added a key word “Certification” (note that keywords are not case sensitive).
When I receive a message that says “Certification” my auto response will be fired.
You can take your automation further by using Avochato with Process Builder. Create an Avochato Send Message API call with Process Builder to send text messages to your contacts or even your Salesforce users. For example, send a text message to the Opportunity Owner when a record meets certain criteria.
Think of Broadcasts as similar to sending mass emails. You can send a text to a large number of recipients, selecting your target audience using fields, tags, or a CSV.
I can name my broadcast, enter the message content, personalize using variables, select a template and even add a photo!
Next, I’ll select my audience via Owner, Tags, Fields, individual Number, CSV or by adding All Contacts.
Finally, I’ll send immediately or schedule delivery for a date and time that suits.
I can preview my message to make sure I’m happy with it before sending!
Similar to email marketing automation tools, once we send a Broadcast we can use analytics to assess the success of our message.
Broadcast analytics are made up of:
- Engagement – See how many responses you received
- Audience Composition – View the recipients that opted out
- Delivery Statistics – Review how many messages were successfully delivered and how many were undeliverable
List View Broadcasting
You can also send broadcasts via Lead or Contact list views directly within Salesforce! Simply add the Avochato Broadcast custom button and you can combine the power of list view filtering with mass text messaging.
In Avochato, you can create surveys to automatically ask scripted questions. An ideal use case might be requesting feedback after a support ticket has been closed.
You can have multiple surveys linked to each Account (Inbox) and each survey is activated by a keyword.
As an example, I created a Feedback Survey that is initiated by the keyword “Feedback”. My survey consisted of two questions about the support received, followed by a final message to say thank you to the customer for completing the survey.
Surveys can be kicked off in a variety of ways:
- An inbound message containing the keyword sent by the customer
- An outbound message kicked off from Avochato by typing $survey_keyword (Initiated inside Broadcasts, Campaigns and Website Widget auto-responses)
In this instance, I initiated the survey by typing $survey_feedback into my chat window with the customer and it immediately started the survey.
The survey will ask a question, wait for a response before asking the next question, then finish with my final message.
Live Chat & Calls
Avochato stands out from their competitors because they offer a full suite of communication options, not just text messages!
In addition to text messaging, you can take advantage of live chat and calling through Avochato.
AvoChat is a live chat experience that can be added to your website and fully branded to suit your needs. Any new live chat conversations create a Case in Salesforce and a transcript of the conversation is saved to the new Case record.
You can also make and receive calls using Avochato in the browser or via Salesforce.
Calls made using Avochato will be automatically stored in Salesforce!
In Avochato, campaigns are a series of automated text messages. Similar to email marketing automation, we can customize our message, select our audience, use logic to decide whether or not to send a reminder, and opt to send immediately or at a scheduled time.
Campaigns are a message and a follow up message. You can build a series of messages by clicking “Add Step +”.
I created a campaign to invite Contacts to a virtual event. The call to action was to reply with “Yes” if they wanted to attend the event.
I personalized my message with variables, including “First Name” which will automatically be populated with the Contact’s first name.
I set a delay of 1 day for a follow up message to be sent, reminding recipients to RSVP. However, I was careful to select follow up logic that would exclude Contacts who have already replied or have opted out!
Now that my campaign is ready, I can send it in multiple ways. I can send in a one-to-one message, include it in an automated keyword response, but the real benefit is the ability to send in a broadcast!
As we’ve already seen in this review, broadcasts enable you to send mass messages whilst also giving you control over who you send them to based on tags, fields, a CSV file and so on.
I created a broadcast by copying the shortcode of my campaign into a broadcast message.
You can view all of this communication in Avochato (and the Avochato tab or widget in Salesforce).
You can see below the initial campaign message that was sent via broadcast. The follow up message was automatically cancelled because our customer replied!
As you’ve probably already gathered from this review, Avochato is going to bring huge benefits to all your teams. We’ve picked a few example use cases but there are many more…
Avochato can provide you with a dedicated phone number (or numbers), which can then be added to your adverts or the “Contact Sales” option on your website.
When a customer calls or texts the number, the communication is directed to the relevant inbox on the Avochato platform.
Take advantage of auto assignment and routing to ensure your new leads get followed up by the sales team ASAP and enjoy the automatic syncing with Salesforce.
Link the phone number for your service team to your “Contact Support” option or add a handy website widget.
Communication to the phone number is directed to the relevant Service inbox in Avochato, the details synced with Salesforce, and you can even automatically create Cases.
Auto assignment, out of office settings and skills based routing can take the stress away from assigning team members to tickets.
Use keyword auto responses to reduce workload and ensure your customers are satisfied with the support received using surveys.
Marketeers can take advantage of surveys, broadcasts and campaigns to contact customers about relevant promotions and events. With advanced opt in settings, they can be confident customers will be receptive to communications and have the ability to opt out at any time if needed.
Employee Efficiency & Collaboration
Shared inboxes, skills based routing, auto responses…you name it, Avochato is packed with tools to increase efficiency and collaboration.
Unlike calls which are very labour intensive, when you use messaging and live chat, your operatives can handle multiple conversations at once and they tend to be much shorter. Your team will be able to handle a higher volume of support requests or follow up on multiple leads at once.
Salesforce integration means the data and any changes are synced directly into Salesforce, reducing the need for double keying or manual updates.
These time saving features will soon add up to a happier and more productive workforce.
89% of consumers would like to use messaging to communicate with businesses and adding a website widget will ensure your customers can easily get in touch. Avochato can help you make the customer journey easier and more enjoyable, improving customer satisfaction.
Data Quality & Consent
Avochato are passionate about working with their customers to ensure great data quality and consent.
Since Avochato relies on the phone number to match to a Salesforce record, data formatting is very important. In addition, the information you collect in Avochato is synced to Salesforce, so you can be sure that your contact information is up to date, improving your data quality.
There is much governance around consent and opting into communication so Avochato is designed to enable you to gain consent when contacting customers. Customers can opt in and Avochato supports default opt-out behavior, for example, if someone responds “stop” or a variation of “stop”, they will be opted out from any future communications.
The estimated setup time is 15mins and is super simple using the Avochato for Salesforce Quickstart installation guide . You’ll login to your Avochato account, then install Avochato for Salesforce from the AppExchange. From the Inbox you wish to integrate to Salesforce, select Integrations in Settings.
Next, use the Avochato Setup tab to complete setup, assigning licenses, permission sets and adjusting your Connected App Settings.
The Avochato help centre is packed with easy to understand articles on each feature and how to set it up.
Avochato’s pricing can be found on their website, with pricing split between Support plans and Marketing plans. There are three tiers: Core, Standard and Pro. You also have the option to pay monthly or annually.
After working with Sales, Service and Marketing teams for the past 8 years, it seems obvious to me how detrimental siloed systems are, both to employee happiness and customer satisfaction. It’s about time we were able to easily record all our activities within a single platform, creating a complete 360 view of our customers and prospects.
Avochato enables your customers to get in touch using their preferred communication method, promotes collaborative working within your team, and offers a full suite of automation options to ease your workload. All that, alongside easy integration to Salesforce.