If your business is still 100 percent reliant on phone and email to communicate, you’re falling behind. And if you want to modernize your operations – all the way from project management to marketing – SMS could be the answer.
The “Why” Behind SMS for Business
When it comes to business communication (internal or external), you have plenty of choices. There’s social media, phone, email, project management solutions, chat apps like Slack and Discord, and even good old-fashioned fax and certified mail. But for a multitude of reasons, modern businesses are placing an increased emphasis on text messaging.
Truthfully, no communication medium is absolutely perfect. They all come with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and drawbacks. And while SMS is no different, it’s clear to see why so many of the world’s most successful small businesses, enterprises, and global corporations are relying on SMS to facilitate discourse inside and outside of their organizations.
Here are a few of the specific reasons why:
- Direct and Immediate
In terms of open rates and efficiency, nothing beats SMS. Unlike email, which has extremely low open rates (15 to 22 percent) and may not get a response for hours, text messages have a 97 percent open rate within just 15 minutes of delivery!
If you want to reach someone, SMS is the way to go. An impressive 91 percent of people have their phone within reach 24/7 (including while they sleep, shower, drive, and work out). In other words, people and their smartphones are inseparable. If you’re trying to get a hold of someone, that works to your advantage.
- Natural and Accepted
Think about the last time you integrated a new tool or platform into your business and asked your employees to start using it. There was probably a steep learning curve – possibly even some pushback. That’s because people don’t like change and don’t want to learn new things.
On the flip side, people are comfortable with things they know and are more likely to use something if they’ve done so in the past.
The beauty of SMS is that almost everyone – from teenagers to seniors – is comfortable with the medium. It’s already accepted as a standard form of communication in their personal lives. Thus, when you implement text messaging, you’re unlikely to get any sort of pushback. In fact, many will embrace it with open arms and use it more than they use other mediums.
- Ideal for Internal Communication
Unbeknownst to many business leaders, SMS is perfectly suited for internal communication. With the right SMS software for internal communications, you can improve productivity, enhance morale, and drive superior business workflows throughout your organization.
It’ll give you the ability to send out company updates and event reminders, coordinate dynamic work schedules, notify your staff of emergencies, ask for employee feedback, and provide education around HR policies and company requirements. Best of all, there’s no need for employees to download an app or create an account. They just use their phones!
- Great for Automated Client Reminders
Do you work with patients or clients on an appointment basis? If so, SMS is a great way to send out automated reminders in advance. This can lead to fewer no-shows and ensure your time is being properly utilized.
On a related note, SMS can be used to send out coupon codes, sale notifications, shipping notifications, and other account-related information that customers would otherwise have to check their email for.
- Lets You Own Your Audience
Anytime Facebook goes down, businesses are reminded that they really don’t “own” their social media audiences. Because if these platforms ever go under, there’s nothing you can do. But with SMS, you own your own data (i.e. phone numbers). Even if your SMS provider goes down (which is highly unlikely), you can switch to another one.
Is it Time to Integrate SMS?
You already use SMS in your personal life, so why not find a way to integrate it into your business? Whether it’s for internal communication between employees and departments, or you’re looking for a way to engage customers via a comfortable touchpoint, this could be the communication medium you’ve been needing.
Give it a try for at least three to six months and see what you think!