Developed over 20 years ago, Short Message Services (SMS)—more popularly known as text messaging—are gaining in popularity, providing an easy, reliable, and universal way in which to communicate with customers. Because most people bring their mobile phones with them everywhere, some even when they are sleeping, SMS has become increasingly pervasive, according to VentureBeat.
Engineers, seeking an easy way in which to send messages on mobile telephones, developed SMS technology, noted VentureBeat; the first SMS was sent in 1992. Today, the technology is global with mobile phone carriers present nearly worldwide and text messages able to transmit on 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. Another key benefit is that it works on any cell phone that accepts and sends text messages. Smart phones are not required.
Companies are looking for easy and quick ways to send messages using mobile phone technology and SMS provides that with a massive reach that is in nearly every country in the world. According to MobileSQUARED, most people—90 percent—read a text message within three minutes of receipt. Because of this, financial institutions issue texts to confirm deposits, accommodations companies send texts concerning incoming reservations, and ecommerce firms text to authenticate customer identity, according to VentureBeat.
Text messaging popularity has much to do with its succinct nature. Senders must be brief with just 160 characters allowable per message. Text messages are also more economical than direct marketing, noted VentureBeat. And, because SMS is “permission-based,” customers are likelier to take a company’s messages. Firms are also able to collaborate SMS with social media and the Internet to become more involved with their customers. For example, a message posted on a website might be backed up with a text message that refers readers to the online story, VentureBeat pointed out.
Companies are continually working to find new ways to improve customer service with SMS. Singapore-based gaming and social app developer, Garena, utilizes SMS to authenticate users. An online text is entered and a code, sent to customer phones for authentication purposes, must be entered along with the customer’s sign-in. The combination improves security. Because Wi-Fi is not always available in all locations, some firms rely on other methods of communicating. IQPolls, which creates polling solutions for companies that seek to “interact with audiences during conferences, seminars, and training sessions,” uses SMS to enable audience participants to respond to poll questions over the Internet. Should there be a weak Wi-Fi signal, participants have the ability to instantly vote via SMS on their cell phones, according to VentureBeat.
Because it found emails to be an unreliable method of reaching customers, Thomson Reuters uses SMS with its customers who use its Eikon financial product line. Today, when the firm wants to communicate with its customers regarding Eikon upgrades or new features, Thomson Reuters sends an immediate text alert.
VentureBeat points out that, with the rapidly growing ubiquity of cell phones, it makes sense that more and more firms are using SMS texting technology to ensure customers instantly receive messages with no fear of messages becoming lost or delayed.
VentureBeat: Why businesses can’t ignore SMS (Hint: 90% of people read a text message within the first 3 minutes); March 27, 2015.