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