Once upon a time in this digital age, email was the way to go when it came to communicating. But these days, believe it or not, studies consistently show that people would much rather communicate by text messaging than via email or on the telephone. People see it as less intrusive yet because it can be received and, often answered, almost immediately and in real time, it is a chosen way of engaging with others – be they friends, colleagues, or customers.
In fact, in the business world, nearly 90 percent of consumers say they would prefer to engage with businesses via a text messaging app, while half of consumers would like to communicate via SMS text messaging. Those numbers are astounding, and yet, only about 48 percent of businesses are set up to send or receive text messages to or from their customer base. That means the other 52 percent need to get on board and get themselves set up with some kind of text messaging for business capability or find themselves in the dark ages when it comes to communicating with their customers. In fact, some very tech-savvy customers may leave them altogether if they don’t get with the times.
Difference Between Text Messaging and SMS Text Messaging
The reality is there is virtually no difference between text messaging for business and SMS text messaging. SMS stands for “short message service,” and that really applies to any texting. Cell phones using SMS for business or personal use will generally allow for 160 characters or less to be sent to another device; messages longer than that will be broken into different parts. Most cell phones today allow for this kind of texting.
When you see the abbreviation or acronym of MMS, it stands for “multimedia messaging service.” If your cellular device supports MMS, you can send a text message as well as photos, video, or even audio content to another device. Most of the newer cell phones today have this capability.
More Than Just Communicating with Customers
Today’s text message solutions are much more than sending a customer something through a regular text message or some kind of personal message through your business Facebook page. Such apps can tie in directly to your customer relationship management (CRM) software, allowing you, for example, to provide better customer service and faster responses. That leads to more sales and stronger customer relationships. There are also apps that can schedule your employees because they link directly to your scheduling software. Having the right text messaging for business allows you to not only interface with your existing apps, but with 1,000 or more other business apps, some of which you may eventually choose to use. That helps to streamline business operations, saving time and money.