Communication is the key to a successful business. Efficient and timely internal communication helps you convey the correct information within the organisation. Similarly, efficient external communication helps you convey and receive relevant information with regards to the external public.
The tools of business and personal communication have considerably evolved over time. Starting with the traditional letters and telegrams, communication has now reached to using emails. Moreover, the nature and purpose of communication has also seen a paradigm shift.
As opposed to businesses using traditional mass messaging where a single message was drafted for thousands of customers, customers today demand a more personalised and interactive form of communication. This has resulted in emails and SMS getting more interactive as the years passed by.
Personal communication has also considerably evolved over time. From the use of public phone booths, we have now reached to using messaging applications that encrypt messages to ensure complete security.
SMS As A Tool Of Communication
Today, everyone owns a cell phone. The days have come when people have almost completely abandoned the landline devices and have switched to using cell phones. This has led to widespread use of business text messaging and personal SMS.
Although the advent of the internet has brought in emails as a major tool of formal and informal communication, SMS has retained its worth and is still used for all sorts of communication on a daily basis. It started with informal personal text messages that were invented with the invention of cell phones and have now reached a stage where businesses are using text messages as a tool for marketing communication.
The primary reason for SMS still being relevant and used on such a large scale is the fact that it is cost-effective. Every service provider has sufficiently reduced the SMS rates, enabling more individuals to send more business and personal SMS to each other.
However, it is important to differentiate between business text messaging and personal SMS.
What Is Business Text Messaging?
As the name suggests, business text messaging involves creation and delivery of formal messages in the interest of a business organisation. These messages are often sent by businesses to their clients or customers to convey specific information to their phones.
Business messaging is used by companies for an array of reasons by using a set database of contacts. They use it for sending exclusive offers, schemes and discounts to their customers. It is also used to notify the customers or subscribers of a service regarding the actions taken by them. For instance, businesses send text messages to their customers as a confirmation to a purchase/subscription made by them. E-commerce companies also use business text messaging to notify their customers about the status of their order and sending them receipts for the same.
Owing to the ease and reach provided by business messaging, there are several applications that provide SMS services to businesses. Salesforce, a prominent CRM platform, offers its users exclusive SMS applications, such as Textible. A Salesforce SMS app would help Salesforce users communicate with their clients effectively through SMS and MMS in real time.
Such SMS applications facilitate seamless two-way communication between businesses and clients. They also provide users with the feature of bulk messaging, where a single text message can be delivered to a bulk of contacts with the click of a button. These messaging activities can also be automated, helping the users save time and keep a track of their communication activities.
What Is Personal SMS?
The concept of personal SMS is more or less self explanatory. Everyone has been using their phones for communication with their friends, relatives and colleagues for official and unofficial conversations. As the name suggests, personal SMS involves sending formal or informal messages to a contact on a personal and individual basis. It can either be used for business or casual communication. As opposed to business text messaging, personal SMS can only be carried out to one person at a time.
Differences Between Business Text Messaging And Personal SMS
If you wonder which of the two modes of communication is better, it is important to understand the basis differences between the two and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Here are the major differences between business text messaging and personal SMS:
As mentioned earlier, business text messaging allows you to compose and send bulk messages to your contacts. You can select a large number of contacts and send them all a single message simultaneously. You can also choose to stay notified by alerts regarding your message being delivered and read by the contacts you delivered it to.
On the other hand, personal SMS is limited to sending one message to one person at a time. If you need to send a single message to a large number of people over personal SMS, you will need to send the same message repeatedly to all the contacts. This would certainly take up a lot of your time and efforts.
It is therefore advisable to go for business text messaging if there is a frequent need for sending bulk messages in your organisation.
Personal SMS can only be composed and sent over a mobile phone. You will therefore always need a cell phone at your disposal if you want to send personal SMS to any of your contacts. This also implies that you will only have a mobile phone as a device to interact with your clients and prospects, which might get a little difficult to manage if you have to deal with more and varied customers.
On the other hand, business text messaging can be easily carried out using any digital device. Though you can choose to operate from your cell phone, business messaging also allows you to use your laptops, desktops and tablets. This facilitates easier and more efficient composition of messages, especially if your message involves use of media.
Once you are logged into your account, business text messaging can be undertaken on any device in an organised manner. This keeps you in control of your communication and allows you to multi-task.
Business text messaging is blessed with the feature of auto responses. It allows you to draft a template message that would automatically be delivered to the concerned sender without your conscious involvement. Auto responses are commonly used to provide answers to the frequently asked questions, and send confirmations regarding subscriptions and purchases made by customers.
Auto responses in business messaging also make you virtually available 24/7. As your physical presence is not required, you can turn auto responses on, which will take care of your customers even when you are away or asleep. This solidifies your presence as a brand and keeps you virtually active all the time.
On the other hand, you will not obtain any such feature in case of using personal SMS. You will always need to be physically present for creating and sending an SMS to your contacts.
Nurture Campaign Automation
A nurture campaign is essentially a marketing campaign created based on the behaviour of the concerned leads. Business text messaging allows you to automate your nurture campaigns. It allows you to utilise the details stored in your database regarding the activities, needs and preferences of your contacts/leads.
This data can be utilised in creating messages that are unique to the specific preferences to a particular contact. For example, if a group of customers is a frequent buyer of t-shirts, you can automate your system to send them an SMS when a fresh stock of t-shirts arrives at your facility. Such need-based communication facilitates personalisation of your services, making every customer feel special.
In the case of personal SMS, though you can personalise your messages based on the specific needs of your leads, you cannot automate the process. Also, just like in the case of bulk messaging, it is difficult to undertake nurture campaigns effectively through personal SMS.
While you need to explicitly write down every single message regarding specific updates to be sent to your contacts using personal SMS, business text messaging automates the process, making it much easier.
Business text messaging allows you to create templates for service updates, application processes or other similar periodic updates and send them to your customers on a regular basis without you having to worry about it. While the system does all the tedious task of sending updates, you can focus on personal interactions and improving customer relations.
Use of Keywords
Business text messaging allows you to make use of specific keywords to provide efficient and accurate information to your contacts. You can profile your customers based on specific keywords to profile your customers and send automated or live responses to them based on the same.
For instance, if you run an insurance company, you can send in relevant information to your customers as they text you keywords representing the kind of insurance. On the other hand, personal SMS does not have a provision for keywords.