Inbound / Two-Way Text Messaging – a must for business

Inbound / Two-Way Text Messaging – a must for today’s business

Using text messaging to communicate with customers and clients is commonplace with many organisations from small to SME to public sector and blue chip. However simply ‘talking at’ people without listening has never been a particularly effective form of communication!

Today’s consumers practically demand to be able to ‘have a say’ and rather than just receiving communication from a faceless corporation, actually have personal service… just like the old days.

Using inbound virtual mobile numbers or long numbers as they are sometimes known is one of the most effective methods of ‘Two-Way’ enabling your text message communications. This assigns a virtual mobile number to your outbound text messages, so the recipient can reply directly to the message you’ve sent them. For example, a message will arrive on their mobile phone as being from ‘07937 985001’, which is in all effect just a normal phone number. Example of Two-Way messaging can be found here

So your customer or client has replied, so what now? There are a number of options availble as to how the message is processed, one of the most popular is that it is converted to an email and forwarded to a specified email address, which again can then be directly replied to using email and converted automatically to a text message. An example of this is here . However there are other methods such has HTTP post to a URL or SMPP for high volumes uses.

For larger volume users there can be additional benefits over and above improved customer and client relations. This is what is known as inbound revenue sharing on a virtual number. I have only come across this company doing it but it’s a great way of offsetting the cost of your outbound messaging without the need for premium rate short codes! The way it works is mobile networks charge small amounts of money to receive a text message from a competitors network, part of this ‘termination fee’ can then be shared with you.