The modern world is a connected one. Globalisation has made global trade possible. Competition has increased. Businesses today, be it large corporations or startups with revolutionary ideas must not only compete domestically against each other, but also with organisations across the world. Service based companies like those involved in Information Technology (IT) , consultancy and finance face the heat of this competition as well. The interconnectedness of today’s world provides customers with the freedom of choice- they can choose to do business with the organisation that gives them the most value for their money, regardless of where across the globe they are located. Such competition pushes all organisations to innovate and perform at their very best. In order to stand out in today’s increasingly cutthroat business environment, businesses need to operate efficiently, effectively and leave absolutely no stone unturned to satisfy their customers’ needs. It is the simplest of things that can give a business an edge over its competitors. Sending customers a personalised transactional message, rewarding them for their loyalty and operating with transparency are just some of the ways in which this is possible.
Be it a startup or an established multinational corporation, good customer service is paramount for an organisation’s success. Keeping in touch with customers in a way that is not too intrusive is an excellent way to maintain relations with customers; whether it is updating them of their overdue bills, informing them of ongoing promotions or simply wishing them on their birthday. Therefore sending SMSes, even in the age of instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, is an immensely valuable tool. Sending SMSes does not need any internet connection, so it is more convenient and reliable.
However, sending personalised SMSes to even hundreds of customers in a single day would be very expensive and time consuming to do manually. Could you imagine how costly an undertaking it would be to do so for an organisation with tens of thousands or even millions of customers! But worry not, here is where SMS gateway integration comes in to save the day.
But what is SMS gateway integration?
Simply put, it is the process of connecting an SMS gateway with other websites, systems or software applications to allow the automatic sending and receiving of SMSes.
An Application Programming Interface (API) is essentially a code that allows for communication between different platforms. SMS APIs can be seamlessly integrated with an organisation’s existing software and its databases. They can be depended upon to send messages to a large number of people at one go. An SMS API allows for messages to be sent in an automated manner, i.e., messages can be triggered via code.
Still not convinced? Well read on to find out why a business (such as yours) will benefit from having SMS gateway integration:
- Less Hassle- A single interface can be used to manage everything since SMS APIs, as mentioned before, can integrate with an organisations’ existing software applications, like their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) , Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other such tools.
- Increased flexibility- Having SMS gateway integration allows for the convenient sending of messages in bulk, scheduling of campaigns, tracking the performance of different messages and many more benefits.
- Robust and secure delivery- Most SMS gateway integration services will allow for both static and dynamic messages to be sent.
Static messages refer to those messages that do not change depending on the person to whom they have been sent. For instance, messages on upcoming sales and products are classified under this category.
Dynamic messages are messages that are customised for each user. SMSes are personalised and the content is modified based on a multitude of factors like their location, time zone, etc. Present bank balance, updates on order delivery, etc. can be classified under this category of messages.
Redundancies that are built in ensure that messages are sent on time. A cloud based solution can be dynamically scaled, so an increase in clients will not hinder the increase in the size of your business’ SMS campaign. Integration of the API also provides an additional layer of security to both your business and its customers.
- Increased efficiency- By using an SMS gateway integration service, a vast variety of tasks can be automated. Workflows for a multitude of use cases can be set up and separate SMS campaigns can be automated for each such use case.
- Intricate reporting and analytics- A robust SMS gateway integration service will provide the user with advanced analytics and intricate reporting of data. The online dashboard will provide a simple yet effective means of measuring each SMS campaign’s performance. For example, if your business is an e-commerce platform that has sent a discount code to its customers, the percentage of customers that used that discount code can be tracked. Thus, your business’ SMS campaign can be directly connected to its financial performance.
Regardless of the field in which your business operates, chances are that SMS gateway integration will be very useful for it. Some of the instances where businesses can use it are:
- Sending One-time passwords (OTPs)
- For automating updates like on the status of an order, upcoming events, new discount codes, reminders, etc
- Providing reminders of payments like for mobile recharge, streaming subscription services, etc.
- Sending customer service related SMSes like feedback on customer support, product reviews, etc.
While SMS gateway integration has a large number of benefits and a variety of applications, one must be cognisant of the following when using them for their organisation-
- Existing regulations- SMS marketing is regulated by various laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in the United States of America. Ensure that your organisation’s SMS campaign adheres to all the required rules and regulations.
- User Consent- Always get explicit consent from recipients before making them a part of your SMS campaign. In case they do not wish to receive messages any further, ensure that they can easily opt out of the campaign.
- Security- Protect your customer’s data and privacy by having robust security measures, like data encryption, in place.
- Frequency- Do not overwhelm recipients with messages. The last thing you want is for customers to be annoyed with your brand so much that they not only opt out of the SMS campaign but also advise their circle not to give business to your organisation.
Well, now you know why SMS gateway integration will be incredibly useful for your business and what precautions to take when using them!