Business messaging platforms are a popular solution for organizations to communicate internally and with customers. SMS is a more user-friendly and personal way of reaching out to coworkers and clientele. According to a study on Business.com, SMS offers open rates as high as 99%. A messaging system can help your client or company improve its engagement with users and provide more options to keep in touch with the organization.
When you partner with a communication platform, you can offer a more seamless customer experience with reliable and scalable messaging. This blog will explore platforms, how your organization or client can benefit, and how companies use business SMS. We will discuss how to implement a messaging system for your client or company and what to look for in a business messaging platform.
What Are Business Messaging Platforms?
Business messaging solutions rely on SMS/MMS and voice application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect employees of a company to other users, allowing both parties to have a conversation. A communication platform allows organizations to connect with their clients to improve the customer service experience. The various benefits extend to the customer and the business.
If you have used WhatsApp, you are already familiar with a popular messaging platform. However, WhatsApp is not innately designed for enterprise purposes and does not offer the custom features, cost-effectiveness, and reliability you can achieve for your client or business with an SMS/MMS and voice API.
What Are the Benefits of Business Messaging Platforms?
From instant communication to lower operational costs, messaging platforms deliver several benefits to your business or client and its end users. They provide a method of contact that is easy to use and convenient, typically through the company’s existing app or website. We’ve outlined some of the top benefits here.
Quick and Easy Communication With End Users
A business messaging platform facilitates collaboration and communication between users within and outside of the organization. Users can quickly share comments and insights or assist clients with sales, support, and general inquiry. Many business communication platforms offer text and voice to further facilitate coordination and satisfy user preferences. The system can increase the employees’ ability to quickly coordinate with users within the company and with clients.
Enhances Customer Experience
Customer service can be improved by incorporating a business messaging platform into your client or company’s communication strategy. Providing customers with alternative ways to communicate with the organization offers more insight into the consumers’ mindset, which can result in improved sales, marketing, and support strategies. It facilitates faster responses from customer support representatives to users and enhances the overall customer experience.
Business messaging platforms enable seamless communication with users. An SMS system can be combined with automation to send reminders and links to helpful information and surveys, reducing the need for staff to work on repetitive inquiries. They provide a rich visual experience at a lower cost than alternatives like traditional phone calls and text while increasing the features a company can provide in their business messaging solution.
How Are Business Messaging Platforms Used?
Messaging platforms offer several benefits to businesses of every kind. SMS systems can be used for customer service, internal communications, and marketing to improve collaboration and the customer experience. They provide text messaging for real-time updates and the ability to send videos, images, and voice for seamless collaboration.
Customer Service and Support
Business messaging platforms can connect your client or company to its users and customers for retail, healthcare, travel, or financial purposes. It provides reliable text and voice communication between support specialists and users. Retailers and e-commerce companies can support customers with shipping updates, inventory checks, promotional offers, and order inquiries. Customers can also conveniently send confirmation of receipt and product integrity or ask for support with a feature or technical difficulty when they receive their product. Customer support can send images of the product or packaging to confirm issues, and customers can likewise send pictures or videos of damaged or defective products.
Healthcare organizations can use business SMS systems to communicate with patients to provide results for tests and evaluations, appointment reminders, and prescription refills. A messaging solution can provide security by allowing users to sign into their accounts with a multi-factor authentication passcode sent to their SMS to ensure the login is credible. Financial institutions can also use it as a secure method of providing updates, account balance inquiries, and services like disputing charges or locking a credit card with a lower risk of fraudulent behavior.
Travel agencies, aggregator websites, hotels, and airlines can use business messaging platforms to provide travel information, updates, delays, and cancellations. They can also provide a convenient way for customers to change their travel dates, accommodations, seating, and other options by logging in to their account or using their booking reference number.
Business Communication and Collaboration
Business messaging platforms are a communication tool, allowing one-on-one and group discussions to help users keep in touch and share real-time updates. Leadership from an organization can alert users of company-wide events and changes or take surveys of employee sentiment for insight into job satisfaction, culture, and work-life balance.
Business messaging platforms can also be a collaborative tool. Voice conferencing allows for meetings in remote or hybrid office arrangements. Users can share reports and designs with groups or communities within the organizational structure to improve the results.
Marketing and Sales
Business messaging platforms can be an effective marketing tool. Companies can organize marketing campaigns through the SMS system and send promotional offers to users. It also provides the opportunity to automate marketing campaigns, sending reminders and allowing users access to self-service and chatbot-related features.
Your client or company can use business messaging for marketing campaigns combined with traditional, social media, and email campaigns to improve the organization’s reach due to its high open rates. Like any SMS marketing campaign, it is important to be transparent with users and inform them of the data it collects under regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA). A business can also use SMS after marketing campaigns or sales to gauge interest through surveys and improve future efforts.
How Can You Implement Business Messaging?
Business messaging can be implemented using an API. A phone number API allows your company or client to manage user and device phone numbers with Direct-inward-dialing (DID) and built-in failover to ensure callers will always reach the correct department or employee, even if they call after hours or there is an outage. Voice, SMS, and MMS APIs make voice calling, text, video, image, and voice sharing possible in your business communication platform.
When you implement a business messaging platform using an API, you can create an ideal and flexible solution for your client or company.
What to Look for in a Business Messaging Partner?
To implement your business messaging platform using an API, it is beneficial to choose an ideal partner who will make the process easier. Selecting the right provider will ensure your client or company’s communication solution provides the service they expect while granting you simple integration and the ability to tailor features to the diverse needs of the operation.
A business messaging platform that is easy to integrate will help you deliver a solution for your company or client. An API integration makes your messaging solution lightweight, flexible, and simple to implement in a few lines of code. You won’t need to spend hours developing and testing your API built from scratch.
With the right API partner, you will get a representational state transfer (REST) API to build your messaging solution. A REST API uses fewer resources than other APIs and common data types like XML. It also uses HTTP commands like PUT and POST, making it simple and interoperable with various programming languages.
The business messaging platform partner you choose can also offer helpful resources that simplify implementing your API. Look for a partner that provides software development kits (SDKs), articles, and quickstarts, allowing you to easily integrate your API into your software with the features your client or company wants.
A partner that offers a scalable network for your messaging will ensure that you can add users and phone numbers to your SMS platform as needed. As you add phone numbers and users from a web portal, the network will dynamically create routes as needed, depending on usage. A cloud-based messaging platform allows your business or client to scale its communication system with nearly unlimited potential.
If your company or client needs to scale its communication for a product launch, seasonal business, or marketing campaign, the messaging solution can scale up to meet the organization’s needs without additional costs or investment in on-site infrastructure. When the interest winds down, your business or client won’t be stuck with additional equipment, and the network will dynamically reduce the number of routes as required.
A reliable network will ensure your company or client’s messages are sent quickly with high receipt rates. An ideal business SMS partner will deliver around-the-clock uptime and exceptional reliability.
It is common for carriers to identify different types of messages and flag certain SMS traffic as spam if they use the wrong route. When your business is sending application-to-person (A2P) traffic, it is critical for the platform you choose to avoid gray routes and aggregators that attempt to disguise your traffic as person-to-person (P2P), which can lead to less reliability and may result in penalties from carriers, including marking your business’s messages as spam.
A platform with a robust network will automatically reroute traffic to another physical network in case of an outage. In the past, the only way to navigate outages would be to port the numbers to another carrier. This type of reliability helps ensure that the business runs smoothly even during unpredictable disruptions.
When you choose a quality business messaging platform, you can add features to your SMS service to improve company capabilities and the user experience. They allow you to easily implement desired improvements using microservices in Docker containers with quickstart guides. Some features to consider include:
- e911 service
- proxy messaging
- appointment reminders
- two-factor authentication
- automated surveys.
Business messaging systems can also offer MMS to allow your organization or client to share videos, photos, and voice content. Some industries may benefit from the addition of electronic fax service over a mobile phone or desktop application. For widespread convenience, you also have the option of adding a click-to-call feature with voice service to your app or website, allowing users to call if they prefer voice over text.
Maintenance and Security
When you develop an API in-house, you or another developer will be responsible for maintaining and securing the code. When you use an API from a business messaging platform, the provider will maintain the API with a version control system like GitHub to ensure your current revision is the latest. They will secure the API and network with resources through a cloud data center, providing a level of security unavailable to many small and medium-sized companies.
APIs are exposed to the public internet, making them a popular attack vector. In a survey from Salt Security, nearly 6 in 10 respondents had to delay the rollout of a project due to API security issues. A well-maintained and secure API can help your client or business avoid data breaches, delays, and service losses.
Pricing can also be essential to choosing a business messaging platform partner. Communication providers typically offer a metered pricing plan or a flat rate plan. Metered plans offer greater flexibility, allowing the company to pay for only the service it uses in a given period. The price will meet the company’s needs whether it needs to scale up or as the business’s usage declines.
As a developer, you also benefit from a metered pricing plan, allowing you to test out the functionality of the messaging system without a large investment.
Improve Company Communication and the Customer Experience With a Business Messaging Platform
When you partner with a business messaging platform, you get access to an easy-to-integrate API for your voice, SMS, and MMS service. This partnership helps in your app and system development to ensure your organization’s texts are delivered and its users can always reach an open phone line. Flowroute’s cloud-based messaging and voice service provides the scalability needed as well as flexibility at a metered price. Get started with Flowroute and offer your business a more user-friendly and collaborative messaging experience.