With 64 percent of people preferring text communication to phone customer support[i], gone are the days of SMS as a mere alternative to the phone call. But moving forward with SMS/text messaging strategy can be a real business headache without understanding the ins-and-outs of what needs to happen behind the scenes. One of the biggest mistakes organizations make when selecting an SMS provider is not understanding their future requirements. Ensure you have a full understanding of your SMS/text messaging needs with this checklist.
On a surface level, text messaging is a form of communication that seems simple enough to facilitate: customer orders a product; company sends an outbound text message letting the customer know that the product has arrived and is ready for pick-up. Unfortunately, it’s this type of oversimplification that drives all-too-many companies into partnerships that simply don’t fit their needs.
Behind every text message exchanged between a company and a customer is an aggregator acting as the “middle man.” Since every text message must go through an aggregator before it’s delivered to the consumer’s mobile device, many brands are partnering directly with aggregators to save a quick buck.
This is where brands, understandably aiming to be frugal, mistakenly cut corners. The tough lesson learned by many has been that while carriers, aggregators and managed providers can do some of the same things, they are not created equally. Read this whitepaper, Selecting an SMS Provider, to learn more.
While partnering directly with an aggregator makes sense for companies seeking solely to reach customers on a one-way blast basis, brands leveraging two-way interactive or personalized SMS/text messaging strategies should weigh their options carefully. Only a managed provider, like West, can provide the strategic partnership required for more sophisticated SMS/text messaging engagement strategies — like campaigns involving SMS Chat or Natural Language, for example.
Customers expect today’s brands to provide them with same low effort communication that they take part in every day with peers. To provide interactions that build upon the last — from one channel to the next — and ultimately shift the collective customer experience from a siloed guessing-game, organizations should lean on the consultation of a managed provider that understands their goals, knows their market and has the broad technical expertise to ensure stability, compliance and adaptability.