OpenMarket – December 15, 2016
If you believe the only use for SMS is mobile marketing, then we haven’t done a very good job of explaining the versatility of this powerful technology. It can be used at every level of your organization for astonishing results. Once you understand the utility of SMS, we believe you’ll be fully ready to buy in.
Five “Other” Applications for SMS
We spend a lot of time discussing the value of SMS as a marketing tool because we believe there’s tremendous value in this application. But it doesn’t stop there. There are countless other uses and you need to understand the far-reaching versatility of SMS if you’re on the fence about buying in. Let’s discuss a few of them in further detail:
- Human Resources
While texting has traditionally been frowned upon in the workplace, this is only because texting comes with negative connotations. If an employee is seen typing a message on their phone, coworkers assume they’re wasting time or handling personal matters. This isn’t always the case, though. Many businesses are investing in SMS as an HR tool and streamlining communication.
From employee onboarding and training to scheduling and payroll, the HR applications of SMS are endless. Another common use is emergency alerts. Since SMS messages are opened and read much faster than emails and voicemails, including text messages in your emergency alert system is a good decision.
- IT and Security
Whether you’re in the financial services or travel and hospitality industry, security is a major issue in today’s business landscape. You can’t afford to not have a plan, and SMS is just one technology that forward-thinking businesses are tapping into when it comes to enhancing security. Specifically, they’re using two-factor authentication.
“An authentication factor is an independent category of credential used for identity verification,” expert Margaret Rouse points out. “The three most common categories are often described as something you know (the knowledge factor), something you have (the possession factor) and something you are (the inherence factor).”
Whereas normal account logins simply require the knowledge factor – a username and password – two-factor authentication requires one more aspect. In high-security environments, this may include a fingerprint or other biometric reading. But in most cases, “the possession factor” comes into play.
Many companies are relying on SMS to complete the two-factor authentication process. When a user tries to login using their username and password, they’re sent a text message with an additional pin code. Thus, in order to finish logging in, they are required to have the phone. Think of this like a moat surrounding a castle with a gate.
- Customer Service
Customer service is one of those things every business wishes they could improve, but few believe they have the resources to properly address. Thankfully, SMS alleviates some of this burden by giving small and large businesses alike a scalable (and affordable) option that improves customer relations. Here are some of the different uses:
- Conduct polls. The best way to know if you’re doing something right is by checking the pulse of your customers. With SMS, you can send out short polls and gain instant feedback from those whose opinions matter.
- Customer callback. People hate calling customer service hotlines and then waiting 15 or 20 minutes to get in touch with someone. Alleviate this frustration by allowing customers to text you and request a callback. This allows them to move on with their days, while also freeing up your phone lines.
- Appointment reminders. For service businesses, nothing is more frustrating than when a customer forgets an appointment. Send out appointment reminders via SMS to reduce the number of no-shows.
These are just a few possible uses. Depending on your industry and the amount of creativity you possess, there’s unlimited potential.
- Advertising and Lead Generation
If you thought building up an email list was important to your lead generation efforts, then you’d be shocked by how effective an SMS list is. Email open rates pale in comparison to SMS open rates, and you’ll never see higher engagement rates than when you send out text messages.
It’s also fairly easy to get people to opt into an SMS list. All you have to do is run a promotion that says something like, “Text MONEY to 99784 to join our elite member program and save 25 percent off your next order.” Before you know it, you’ll have a list of a few hundred customers and can send out marketing and advertising messages in the future.
- Operations and Logistics
Trying to maintain an efficient supply chain requires a multi-faceted approach. By adding SMS to your mix, you can improve internal and external communications.
Internally, you can keep track of products at every stage of the process and keep employees engaged. Externally, you can send shipping alerts and mobile receipts to customers to ensure they’re satisfied and aware of what’s happening. It’s a flexible solution with far-reaching benefits.
Give OpenMarket a Shot
Did you know that text messages have a 98 percent open rate – with 90 percent of messages being opened in three minutes or less? Whether it’s HR or marketing, we firmly believe that there’s no better way of connecting with customers and employees than SMS. It’s a ubiquitous channel that’s vastly underutilized in today’s business world, which means you can gain a competitive advantage by adopting it.
At OpenMarket, we’re proud of the fact that hundreds of enterprises around the world have come to rely upon our powerful APIs and versatile SaaS-based mobile messaging solutions for their SMS needs. If you’re interested in coming on board, then please contact us today.