SMS Integration…What’s the Point?
By now perhaps you’ve heard: SMS is the best way to reach (and be reached by) your customers and SMS integration is key for businesses. With attention spans and patience levels growing shorter by the moment, businesses can’t expect customers to sit in long hold queues awaiting an elusive customer service agent.
The tendency toward exasperation is high when it comes to automated phone systems, hold times, and online support forums, and businesses tend to take the fall for the shortcomings of these tools.
Add to that a seeming disdain for phone calls in this day and age, and you can see why recent studies have shown customers prefer to communicate via text. The same goes for customers on the receiving end: nothing will get you on the blacklist faster than cold calling.
Of course, you can’t have an entire team sitting at a desk doing thumb exercises in anticipation of messages rolling in. Or move your marketing team to send out SMS messages to subscriber lists every time you have a product launch. So what’s the best approach?
The answer is SMS integration.
What is SMS Integration?
SMS integration will empower you to leverage communication for the modern era. You’ll be able to reach your customers using the platform that’s best for them, with a workflow that’s best for you. This allows you to build trust and a sense of dependability. You’ll also be able to streamline interactions amongst internal teams and automate your marketing outreach in a more meaningful way.
Whether used solely for outgoing communication or also for receiving messages from your customers, SMS integration allows you to be more efficient, saving you time and money while increasing customer retention. Curious how? Let us explain.
Why Should You Bother Integrating SMS Into Your Other Systems?
One of the major benefits of text messaging is immediacy. You want to enable your customers to leverage that benefit without modifying the way they interact with your business.
SMS integration with third-party platforms your team is already using every day plays a key role in enabling your existing applications or systems to be mobile. Integrating your systems with a reliable and feature-rich SMS gateway means delivering communication benefits to your customers is a breeze.
Free Application Programming Interface (API) tools allow for seamless integration with your standard business apps, proprietary software or website. Enabling your existing system to interact with an SMS gateway for sending and receiving messages can help streamline your marketing processes.
Common Systems for SMS Integration
There are a number of systems, applications, and workflows you likely have in place already which can benefit from SMS integration. By selecting a feature-rich SMS platform you can effortlessly integrate with your existing systems.
Combining SMS and email may be the smartest thing you’ve ever done for your customers or clients. Rather than forcing them into only one communication channel with your business, customers can choose how they want to be contacted and the types of notifications they want.
While a customer may want to read your monthly newsletter via email, they may also want to opt in to specific text alerts about product or service updates, promotions or appointment reminders. Made possible by SMS integration, this will alleviate your database issues by combining the two and increase customer satisfaction.
CRM are where SMS integration has perhaps the greatest potential. If you have a truly robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that is filled with contact attributes such as birthdays, contract renewals, preferred products, zip codes, or other key identifiers, then you should be leveraging that information with SMS integration.
Use auto-response text messages in response to a contact’s actions, or send out targeted, behavior-based messages to reach the right audience at just the right time. And, of course, remember to personalize messages when it makes sense (with the contact’s first name or other unique identifiers).
SMS integration improves the efficiency of your communication by giving you more information and more options for each text message you send or receive.
Point of Sale
For mobile marketers working in retail, restaurants, and other brick-and-mortar businesses, SMS integration into POS systems makes a world of difference. Using an SMS API to integrate into your POS is a great way to ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities to make a sale or retain a customer.
While text/mobile coupons can be a total blessing for driving foot traffic, they become an annoyance when the customer cannot move smoothly through checkout. We can all fantasize about having a mobile app for our store, but that isn’t always the smartest investment. SMS integration is a much more affordable way to keep customers loyal, fulfill their mobile requirements, and get people into your store.
A great place to leverage SMS integration is on your business website. This enables customers to more easily make contact, and for you to take advantage of the ease of SMS.
You can easily set up a widget on your website for the purpose of SMS message creation. This allows customers to text your business at the click of a button. On a desktop, this widget can enable customers to opt-in to your texting services with their phone number. From a mobile device, a customer should be able to click and open a message in their native SMS app with your number automatically populated.
Over-the-top (or OTT) messaging uses data channels instead of traditional SMS on mobile networks. This is particularly vital these days when customers not only want the ease of contacting businesses without making a phone call but want to use their app or platform of choice.
The numbers don’t lie: Facebook reports that 20 billion messages are exchanged between businesses and their customers each month. That’s a lot of people reaching out to businesses through social networks. Of course, that doesn’t account for things like WhatsApp, Instagram messenger, Google Business Messages and others.
SMS integration allows you to receive and respond to messages initiated in these platforms, making you more available to your current and prospective clients.
It’s Time to Adopt SMS Integration
TrueDialog’s integration tools (PHP .Net, Java, Ruby) make it easy for programmers to develop, integrate, and deploy and implement SMS integration with your proprietary software or website, enabling 2-way SMS communications. Learn more about our SMS API and get support integrating your systems with our SMS Gateway by contacting us.