When business managers think about SMS its usually associated with SMS marketing and promotional campaigns, ways to engage with mobile users to make them aware of products and services and ultimately to get them to make a purchase.
Today however, businesses are looking at more and more ways to cut costs and reduce expenditure and this is where SMS plays an even greater part for the business manager. Business SMS is now seen as a technology which can help to make significant cost savings and make an impact on the bottom line.
So how can businesses reduce their costs by using SMS? We need to look at the traditional ways of communication, such as letters and phone calls and then make the comparison between them and using SMS.
Sending letters is a time consuming and costly exercise. Take housing associations that send out payment reminder letters to tenants who have fallen behind with their rent. If we say the minimum costs of printing, postage and packing is 50p (thats not including the time spent to prepare, print, stuff envelopes, etc) and compare this to sending an SMS for 5p, straight away we can see the cost saving 90%.
Now, couple that with the response rate of text messages and you will find that not only is it cheaper to send a business SMS to the tenant than a letter, but the SMS will have a far quicker response rate from the tenant. 84% of recipients respond within 2 hours of receiving an SMS.
Now lets have a look at another scenario for the housing association maintenance visits. A tenant has raised an issue about their water leak which requires the visit of a maintenance fitter. An appointment is made and scheduled for a visit in 3 days time. The maintenance engineer arrives at the tenants home but nobody is home so the appointment will need to be rescheduled.
However, by using SMS to send out appointment reminders this can significantly reduce the number of no-shows and therefore reduce the costs of missed appointments. Research has shown that by sending out appointment reminders the day before an appointment can reduce the number of no-shows by 25%.
Calling mobile phones can also be a costly exercise in comparison to sending SMS. Recruitment agencies used to notify candidates of job opportunities by phone, now they can simply use bulk SMS and broadcast the same message to multiple candidates asking for a call back if they are interested. This saves both time and cost when using SMS.
Other examples of where business SMS can reduce costs include sending:
SMS alerts and status updates
SMS notifications and reminders
SMS requests for feedback and surveys
SMS details of any changes
SMS requests for further information