Enterprise communications can often be summarized as complex and expensive when dealing with legacy communication providers and services. With unified communications as a service (UCaaS), businesses can realize the promise of a simpler, more cost effective way to communicate and collaborate.
As we discussed in part II, businesses are increasingly moving towards VoIP solutions. This enables them to take advantage of advanced feature sets that can help improve the customer experience and eliminate the expensive costs of managing on-premise equipment.
Businesses are looking for similar solutions to start integrating SMS into their communications stack. Communications now go beyond voice and UCaaS providers are making it easier than ever for businesses to integrate voice, SMS and more into one coherent and manageable solution.
Texting is a fast, personable and convenient means of communicating with customers. Over 70% of smartphone users text, while only 43% make calls regularly. Therefore, integrating reliable SMS services has become a key focus for UCaaS providers who seek to solve everyday customer problems.
For many modern customers, SMS is more convenient than a phone call. Web-based chat services are now commonplace and communicating with agents over chat is now a familiar process when resolving a customer problem.
Finding the right time and place to make a phone call can be difficult and ultimately ends up delaying time to resolution. With SMS, issues can get solved faster, making it an invaluable customer service tool to your organization.
On the support side, responses can even be automated through a UCaaS solution, with the ability to introduce an agent for more difficult queries. The end result is that you can deliver a seamless customer experience that’s as personal as its is convenient.
Reminder texts work across many different industries, including dental, medical and physiotherapy practices as well as many other small businesses. Missed appointments cost healthcare providers around $150 billion a year.
Sending automated appointment reminders via SMS is the best way to guarantee a patient is aware of an upcoming appointment. It also gives them the opportunity to confirm or reschedule, reducing no-shows and freeing up appointments for other patients.
Keeping within the medical theme, follow-up text messages can not only reduce costs but also improve health outcomes. It is a personal means of staying in touch with patients that will likely be read with text messages having a 98% open rate and 90% are read within 3 minutes.
SMS can be used to remind patients of their aftercare instructions and also give them an opportunity to ask questions if they’re unsure. For more complicated issues, you can transition from SMS to a call to make sure they’re getting the help they need.
For non-medical domains, account notifications are a more common service to set-up through a UCaaS system. Set up the account triggers you need based upon customer actions or events in your CRM. An example would be an SMS or voice notification sent to a customer to alert them of an upcoming due date for a bill.
With two-way sms, you can capture customer responses. Replying to the sms, clicking a link, or other such actions can be processed to trigger follow-up messages or schedule callbacks as needed.
Ask what your communications provider can do for you
Selecting your underlying communications provider for your UCaaS solution can be a difficult process. The ability to get your full telephony stack from a single source means that your business can scale with speed. However, there are multiple important features to consider when scoping out a provider’s programmable messaging offering:
- Number Inventory: Ensure that your provider owns their own numbers: long-code, short-code, toll-free and international.
- International Reach: Don’t let your provider limit your reach. Choose a provider that has the ability to reach any sms-enabled number in the world.
- Number Health: Can you track the health of your numbers in real-time to improve deliverability and ensure that your messages reach their intended destination?
- Number Pool: Are you able to spread messages across a group of phone numbers? Your carrier should work in the background to use the best quality numbers and improve delivery.
- Geomatch: Verify if you can automatically send messages from a number with the same local area code as the recipient — it’ll drive stronger engagement and better response rates.
- Sticky Sender: Ask if you can send every message to a customer from the same number. It’ll provide a more consistent experience that builds familiarity into your customer interactions.
- Compliance and Security: You need a provider you can trust and one that displays a clear ability to uphold privacy standards. Your provider should be willing to sign HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAAs), in the case of healthcare partnerships.
Messaging is increasingly becoming a core component of unified systems, so check out Programmable SMS with Telnyx to learn more.
Otherwise, if you are interested in learning more about Telnyx as an underlying communications provider for UCaaS solutions, check out our case study with Ooma here.
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