Even with all kinds of advanced communications tools at our disposal, the humble text message still remains an integral part of everyday life. Perhaps the reason for texting’s staying power is its ubiquity. It doesn’t matter what kind of cell phone you have, or what carrier you use – you can still send a text message to almost anyone on the planet. In fact, about 4.2 billion people have the capability to text, which far exceeds the number of fixed phone lines globally (972 million).
Although texting is most often used in a personal context, it can be important in the business world as well. We receive work-related emails and phone calls all the time, but hardly ever text messages – and as a result, text messages break through the clutter. Consider that, on average: 17% of emails are opened, 20% of calls are answered, but 99% of text messages are read. That huge difference in the delivery rate just caused my jaw to drop, and I bet yours did too. Imagine the impact it would have on your business if you knew there was a 99% chance that your customer or prospect would see your message! I dare say that no other communications method can even come close.
There is one problem with text messaging in a business environment, though. To send a text message, you have to use your mobile phone. And these days, it’s most likely that phone is your own personal phone, not one issued by your company. Do you really want a customer or colleague to have your personal cell phone number? What happens if they call or text you off-hours? What if the battery dies and you don’t get their message right away? There are many ramifications to this approach, but most importantly, it doesn’t give you any way to keep your business life and personal life separated.
Fortunately, there’s a solution to that problem. I’ll let you in on a little secret: when it comes to text messaging, you don’t have to be restricted to using your cell phone. If your company has a unified communications platform like UCx, you can send and receive SMS text messages through the desktop app, exactly the same way that you’d send a chat message. Because those SMS messages use your business phone number, it means you can use a single phone number for many different methods of communication, including calls, text, and video. Even better, there’s no longer any reason to share your personal cell phone number for business use.
Text messaging may seem like a small detail at first glance, but it can be a huge competitive advantage to your business – as long as it’s done in a thoughtful and professional way. UCx with SMS integration gives your team the tools to tap into this powerful method of communication while maintaining a uniform business identity for every user. What a creative way to make use of familiar technology!
About the Author
Stacey Kendall is the Product Marketing Manager for TPx’s suite of Communications & Collaboration services. With over 20 years of experience in marketing communications for highly technical and regulated industries, she presents complex topics in a straightforward manner for current and prospective customers. Stacey holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Information Technology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She resides in the greater Boston area.