SMS is Dead, Long Live SMS!

SMS, text messaging, we all thought it was dead right?  Not quite. We might use apps and other messaging channels when chatting to our friends, but in the contact centre, SMS is still an essential communication tool for the simple fact that it is so ubiquitous. Anyone with a mobile phone has SMS and in NZ there are over 4 million of us with one.

Many companies promote apps to interact with their customers, and while they can be a fantastic tool, customers have to find the app, download it, learn how to use it and then keep it updated.  SMS comes built in to every phone.

As well as being one of today’s most effective broadcast mediums, SMS can act as a powerful alternative to one-on-one phone conversations. It’s cheaper, isn’t constrained by limited contact centre staff and for those generations raised on phones or personal devices, it’s often their preferred method of contact.

For many years, Telnet has used SMS as a conversational medium for capturing customer information and providing one-to-one status updates. When used with an IVR, customers in queue can be offered the opportunity to resolve their query via SMS. Or when developed in conjunction with bots, and other AI tools, SMS can become an excellent delivery channel, melding the benefits of chatbots with the wide availability of SMS.  No apps or websites needed.

Far from being dead, SMS is still being developed, with a new technology known as RCS (Rich Communication Services) about to be rolled out globally by telecommunications companies.  RCS will bring to everyone the messaging features that are currently only available from incompatible proprietary systems produced by Apple, Google, Facebook and others.

For more information about how SMS can improve your customer experience and reduce your customer service costs, get in touch with us here.

John Chetwynd

Founder and CEO