How Business SMS numbers will 5x your customer contact. Have you noticed the SMS growth in business, Here we look at what it will do for you
Table of contents
- What are business SMS numbers
- Why would you use a fixed SMS number
- We added automation to the service
- Reminders, appointments, cancellations and surveys all on one service.
- What is CX and what are you doing about it
- Integration with your CRM
- Add an inbound Voice service to your number
What are business SMS numbers
Just like a normal telephone number they are part of your business. Instead of Live calls, they deliver short messages to your selected email address.
This way they are handled by anyone with access to that address and in fact can be automated to save on operator time.
The numbers are two way which is both inbound and outbound messages so your branding identity is shown at every call.
Why would you use a fixed SMS number
Let me give you a couple of great examples;
Random number generation.
Ok, I have gone all techie on you however let me explain. When you send an SMS through a carrier they use a whole bank of portals to handle the traffic. They may send a thousand messages a minute so they use 1000 (for this exercise) different numbers.
First of all
Our local Doctor sent a reminder message to a friend of mine. Because she is well organised she saved it into her address book on her mobile phone.
A few days later her Chiropractor sent a reminder message and lo and behold they used the same number (i.e.. From the same carrier and a bit of a fluke). She was confused as to who owned the number and why this could happen.
Young people want instant access because of a lack of time.
A local Leisure centre ran training classes for school kids. Twenty or so would all arrive at the same time clamouring for attention from the counter person handling phone enquiries, taking bookings, selling gear and registering the class.
They had a rule if the class was not cancelled payment was still due so when one wanted to get out of a class the parent would make the phone call to the counter girl handling 20 kids jumping all over the place and shouting with excitement.
It was not working.
At Verdi messaging we set up an inbound SMS service with a fixed number that could be used by the time pore young mother to cancel the training. It should have worked well however it failed badly.
The problem was that it was a one-way activity and the young mother was not sure the message had been received so she would ring and make sure, that day's charge was just not going to happen.
We added automation to the service
With the fixed number SMS service we added an Automatic reply. This said something like the following in a return SMS;
Thanks for cancelling your class booking, it has been recorded. Please remember to rebook another lesson.
The counter Girl could ignore the phone calls over the peak times and make the adjustments when the crowding stopped.
The return on this was massive.
First of all, they were running classes all day so this was not just a one-time occurrence.
Therefore they were able to save one staff member on the booking counter because the telephone was being managed.
Finally, as they had quite a few of these centres the savings went across the board.
Reminders, appointments, cancellations and surveys all on one service.
Keep track of your messages and also understand the replies you will receive.
The automotive industry
One example was in the Auto industry where service reminders were sent out after about a nine months gap.
Many booked at the time however some took the opportunity to vent their anger. This was a multi-station business and a small percentage were unhappy with the service.
This negative was turned into a positive by calling every complaint and offering a solution.
Thus turning angry customers into new converts. In some cases repairs were redone in others a cash payout was given.
A further benefit was understanding those dealers with many complaints and retraining the dealer and staff to avoid future events.
An Air-conditioning client uses SMS every year with a reminder on the annual service required.
This means he can channel the servicing into a time when demand is low and not on those extra hot days when everyone wants everything.
Business SMS Numbers and CX
What is CX and what are you doing about it
This is not a trick question however CX is a shortened format for Customer experience.
CX should be at the forefront of every business. That’s how they can differentiate themselves from their competition. Instead of focusing on new technologies, they should focus on technologies that can enable great customer experiences.
SMS is an example of that type of technology. For example it can remind consumers about their upcoming appointments, and also be a way for businesses to collect feedback and provide customer service. It’s simple, quick and easy for both businesses and consumers to use.
Integrated with Social media the use of your fixed number can quickly grow into a real contact point.
Integration with your CRM
We have found that many CRM services that include an SMS feature have carte blanche at charging what they want for each message sent. This can run too many dollars over a year
and can be changed by selecting your carrier
Add an inbound Voice service to your number
This is something different that may enhance the service to your business.
Any SMS messages are sent straight to your email service or through your CRM service as normal however a voice call is patched to a phone number of choice, mobile or fixed.
This may well work for service operations and those only using a Mobile number as a point of contact.
You will enhance your branding, contact and customer experience using a fixed number. Some will achieve massive results and others marginal gains however there is no downside.
SMS is being used more often than Voice as the time poor consumers blast away with quick messages so you should be part of this explosion.
Our business Verdi messaging can help with all your inquiries.