Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SMS matters more than you think.

In 2010 I remember reading an opinion piece that iTunes was to blame for vinyl being dead. It made me think about why Marvin Gaye's track, 'Sexual Healing'. The song will only ever have its full experience on vinyl - mp3 can never do that song the justice or capture its incredible majesty. Like anything which is a part of a subjective experience, it never really dies, it just no longer fits in the 'flavor-of-the-month' category. But, it will always have a place whether it's realised or not at the time. As we now see more people buying vinyl because it has a soul that's lost in the digital, the love affair with it has returned. 

Right now, businesses are starting to show signs of falling out of love with e-mail (not to the same extent), but it shows with the meteoric rise of tools like Slack (which we love using ourselves) as a replacement for internal communication across our offices. And right now, we feel that SMS has in the online space really found it's niche play.

When you sign up for many online services in the enterprise space, you find yourself using SMS for a one-time-password, or an activation code, not your e-mail. This isn't because of clutter, but it's a stronger certainty to verify the sign-up, and weed out bots and or potential service abuse.

In consumer circles, we're embracing WhatsApp, SnapChat,  Facebook Messenger, Viber & a host of other great apps to take care of our messaging needs where we used to send SMS, & later MMS. And for the most part, SMS has sat away in the background of our mobile device experience largely unused except for application authentication tokens and the like.

As a result of this, SMS has now become a premium channel with an incredible opportunity for it to have an important value; clarity. With a lack of clutter, and such infrequency of receipt, when you receive an SMS message now, you are more likely to enact with it & pay attention. And we know this from how we're seeing customers use statushub today.

Companies who found themselves engaged with their customers asking questions like "Why didn't I get a notification?" only for the notification to actually be amongst a mountain of unread emails in their inbox, getting their customers to use the SMS subscription option in their hubs has allowed them to drastically reduce these kinds of customer queries or support requests. And those who have engaged in pro-actively promoting the SMS subscription option as part of their hubs have fared even better.

When promoting your status page with your customers, by highlighting the SMS subscription feature and you'll find that you will save you on inbound call handling, and making sure your customers never miss an update again.