Organizations are already archiving emails, but what about text messages? SMS messages are becoming an increasingly important part of business communications as part of the digital transformation, and with good reasons. Text messaging is accessible, has a low barrier to entry (it’s something we’re all already doing), and promotes fast two-way exchanges that facilitate accelerated business results. Moreover, archiving of business text messages is now possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic was also instrumental in transforming text messaging from a casual channel mostly reserved for low-stakes chatting to a powerful medium for discussing business-related topics. In a world thrown into remote work, colleagues and clients weren’t able to meet face-to-face, and SMS and other messaging platforms became the natural solution.
However, many organizations are unprepared or resistant to this change due to concerns over regulatory compliance. In other words, companies need to have control over their business text messages to fully embrace business texting.
Luckily, there’s a straightforward solution to this problem: archived text messages. With this in mind, let’s look at why forward-thinking companies should embrace SMS for business and the importance of archiving text messages today.
Why Your Company Should Use Business Text Messaging
Businesses use a variety of communication tools to promote seamless and effective conversations between employees and customers. Email has long been a popular communication medium, and while it’s still going strong today, it’s not without its drawbacks. According to a study by Radicati, the average American worker receives a whopping 126 emails a day. Moreover, the number of emails sent and received globally every day has increased each year since 2017, with figures expected to reach 376.4 billion emails by 2025.
For many people, the number of emails they receive in a day is overwhelming. Faced with an inbox bulging with many 100s of emails, it’s no surprise that people are often slow to respond to emails or miss them entirely.
Text messaging has a unique advantage here. What is it? Well, take a look at your phone. How many missed calls or unread emails do you have? For calls, it might be just a few, but it’s likely in the 100s or even thousands for emails. But what number of unread text messages do you have? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably 0.
We tend to view text messages as direct lines of communication that need a timely response. And studies support this theory. For example, research by SinglePoint found that texts have a 99% open rate. Further, texts aren’t just opened, but they’re also opened quickly. A study by Forbes found that a whopping 95% of texts are read within three minutes.
For businesses, this means text messages can be incredibly powerful. For example, business texting among workers allows colleagues to ask critical questions on the fly and receive immediate responses. In other words, it allows workers to be more productive and do their job more effectively. The casual nature of texting also enables employees to develop stronger personal connections that boost team morale and promote better collaboration.
Businesses enjoy similar benefits when it comes to texting clients or customers. According to one study, 85 percent of smartphone users prefer text messages to calls or email. And in 2022, almost all your clients and customers will be smartphone users.
Business text messaging can help strengthen business-client relationships in many ways:
- In the digital age, the companies that offer personalized customer experiences are the ones that thrive. Today, people want closer emotional connections with the businesses they support, and text enables this. SMS is more personal than other channels.
- It provides a direct line of communication. Depending on the industry, some clients need fast and direct access to their business partners to deal with critical situations.
- Reduce operational costs by taking pressure off the inbound call team. Agents can handle many more text exchanges than phone calls.
Why You Should Archive Your Business Text Messages (The Importance of Text Archiving)
Business texting is going strong and is here to stay. Still, worldwide, many regulations demand that companies be able to record and produce text message exchanges when asked. For heavily regulated industries, like finance, healthcare, education, and government, the need to archive text messages is even more crucial. With this in mind, let’s dive deeper into why organizations should archive text messages today.
Compliance is one of the top reasons to implement a text message archiver solution. While some industries have more stringent regulatory rules, almost all industries need to observe some communication regulations. For example, the following regulatory bodies require companies to monitor and retain all electronic communications, including business text messages: HIPAA, HITECH, MIFID II, GDPR, GLBA, FINRA, FISMA, FRCP, Dodd-Frank Act, and SOX.
With both internal and client-facing communications happening over such a wide range of channels, it’s easy for communication policies to fall out of use. Additionally, in a world where remote working is now the norm, it’s easy for employees to blur the lines of business and casual chat, potentially leading to some less-than-professional text exchanges.
Whether on Android or iPhone, business texting needs to be captured to ensure organizations stay on the right side of the law. Failing to archive text messages can lead to hefty fines and reputational damages.
Establish One Version of the Truth
Leading on from the last section, not having a clear record of the truth can lead to conflicts and disputes between employees and clients. The reality is human beings aren’t perfect. Sometimes we misremember an exchange, forget about it entirely, or in some cases, intentionally delete communications we’re not proud of.
The way companies use mobile messaging has changed significantly over the last decade. In the past, employees were almost always given a dedicated company smartphone if they were expected to communicate with clients on the move. However, today, it’s much more common for employers to adopt a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach, where employees can use their personal phones. In addition, some companies define additional protocols like requiring employees to use a dedicated business communication app that has its own company phone number.
While the BYOD approach has many benefits for both employees and businesses, such as lowering costs and training burden, it comes with unique risks. For example, employees may fall into texting habits they have for their personal mobile, even when communicating with clients. And then what happens if an employee deletes a text exchange and pretends it never happened? The same could happen on the client-side too. Another critical issue when adopting BYOD is the need to separate personal from business-related texting – for privacy and regulatory compliance reasons.
Archiving solves this problem, establishing one verifiable version of the truth. It also holds both clients and employees accountable for what they say, promoting more conscious texting. Archived text messages can play a key role in sales, support, compliance and operations. For example, if an employee over promises to a client over text, their managers can step in to provide more training or take disciplinary action.
Businesses can still deploy a BYOD approach and easily archive text messages on Android or iPhone. Only problem is separating business vs personal messaging – – as stated above.
Streamline and Optimize Business Communications
Archiving Android and iPhone business texting exchanges provides troves of data that companies can mine for valuable insights. For example, companies can use successful text message conversions (ones that strengthen relationships or boost sales) for employee training. Analyzing text message data can also uncover the strengths and weaknesses of your messaging strategy.
Beyond regulatory compliance, there’s another crucial reason to capture mobile text messages – legal protection and preparedness. While being hit with legal action is the last thing an organization wants; unfortunately, it’s not uncommon.
If you do find yourself involved in a court case, you’ll wish you took the time to archive text messages. Mobile messages are a critical element of eDiscovery because they can prove the falseness of claims and build a picture of the truth.
Create Better Marketing Campaigns
Mobile marketing is far more effective than email marketing due to text messages’ high open rates and response rates. By archiving marketing SMS messages, companies have a comprehensive overview of their mobile marketing campaigns and can use this information to create more effective campaigns in the future.
Stop Leaks in Their Tracks
You can tailor business text message archiving solutions to send alerts when users type specific keywords. For example, let’s say a client asks an employee for details about an upcoming project they’ve heard rumors about. The employee might share these details, not realizing they are sharing sensitive information. This can also apply to sharing sensitive files, employee records, or details of vendors. With alerts, employees can be informed when they are potentially sharing sensitive information and advised to choose their words carefully.
With text messaging becoming a ubiquitous part of business communications in the modern era, there’s never been a greater need to archive text messages. With archived text messages, you can strengthen your business relationships, protect your company from sensitive information leaks or litigation issues, and ensure you’re compliant with current communications regulations. Lastly, archived text messages are a rich source of valuable insights that organizations can leverage to become better communicators.