Text Messaging Is Serious Business

I emailed a renter recently, but received no reply.  4 days later, I sent a text message with an abbreviated version of the same message and had a response within 15 minutes.If you read recent news about Iran’s elections, you’ll most likely come across something about the viral effect of  text messaging (or SMS).  News reports were flying around about a “mysterious” outage of Iran’s SMS networks just prior to the recent elections there.  Try googling “SMS Iran”.

And businesses are realizing that SMS is not just for teenagers anymore.  SMS has been around for 15 years, and SMS usage is expected to continue to grow for at least the next 3 years.  It’s a simple technology – a maximum of 160 characters, cheap, and immediate.  In the US alone, we are sending 80 billion text messages a month.  Mobile phones are typically near a person and are often the most reliable method of contact.  With 25% of the 18-34 year old population in the US living in mobile-only households, businesses cannot afford to ignore the reach of text messaging.

Some debt collection operations are seeing a significant bump in response rates using SMS, especially in conjunction with a multi-channel program including inbound call routing and IVR.  Contact centers are beginning to enable the routing of SMS messages as yet another inbound communication path including 2-way conversations with agents.  Opt-in/out advertising via SMS is on the rise in conjunction with a contact center ready to handle the inbound calls and other contacts that those SMS messages will generate.

The best way to contact me is my cell phone via text message.  I can often read and respond to a text message sooner than I can listen to a voice mail.  Is the same true for you?

How is your organization leveraging or planning to leverage this simple yet powerful technology?

Matt “Don’t text while driving” Taylor

3 comments to Text Messaging Is Serious Business

  • ijimenez
    A nice thing would be also to have the capability to conduct massive outbound SMS campaigns to advertise products and services, remind appointments, remind contract expirations dates, parcel tracking etc..
    As an example, My cell phone carrier send me an SMS whenever i arrive to a different country to let me know about the rates i have there. Really nice to have and useful too.
    The most important thing is for operations people to have a nice an easy interface to set up how, when, what content and who may receive their company-originated SMS and powerful means to interface with back-end company information systems.
  • ijimenez – I like the service that your cell phone carrier supplies – great idea! With the SMS campaigns for advertising, it is important that the convention of allowing opt-out by reply be supported by businesses who use this to set up an acceptable environment. Appointment reminders, contract expirations dates, parcel tracking, etc – all good usage ideas for SMS.
  • ijimenez
    Today one of my coworker give me another cool about SMS usage. He got an appointment two weeks ago to go to the local police station to get their passport. After requesting auhtorization to their manager, he wents there from his work place to find out that the computer system had been having problems all the morning, so he finally failed to get his credential. Wouldn’t it be nice for him to had received a SMS letting him know about the impossibility to get his passport yesterday and suggesting a new appointment date? This sure would had avoided him losing his time, saving on car fuel, need to go back again next week and personal annoyances.

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