SMS messages, also known as text messages, have obvious benefits for any business that wants to market to its customers. But what happens when you turn those messages inwards? In any business, internal communication is paramount, and as many as 60% of companies have zero long-term strategies for managing internal communication. Something is awry here.
Given how easy and convenient it can be to launch an internal SMS system, this is particularly perplexing. Businesses love it because it grants them immediate access to their employees, almost like throwing a newsletter they know employees will read. And individuals like it because they're already on their phones; fast, effective communication is possible when a company turns to this kind of communication channel.
But let's explore the concept in-depth and explain why and how companies can improve internal communication with SMS.
What is Internal SMS?
Let's start with a definition. Internal SMS differs from SMS marketing because it focuses on internal communication rather than lead generation and SMS messages. In other words, it turns the technology platforms available to companies inward. This inward dialogue creates mass communication at a new level, enabling company leadership to reach out to its entire employee base, at least those who use SMS.
Automated SMS, which stands for short message service, already has several built-in advantages. For example, a small clinic might use SMS marketing to schedule patient appointment reminders. But with employee communication, the same robust features are possible. You can use appointment reminders to send notifications to employees with critical meetings coming up.
However, business communications like cell phone confirmations for meetings aren't the limit of what you can do with internal SMS. You can also make sure that everyone at your company with a mobile phone, or at least a mobile device, is clued to your company's latest events. For example, what happens if you have a company picnic coming up and need everyone to RSVP? Sending notifications directly to everyone's phones is a much better way to get things done than email, which can often get lost in employee inboxes.
It is Less Intrusive than Calling Employees
One other thing employees like about internal SMS: it can be less intrusive than phone calls. SMS solutions can give people notifications in real-time without stopping them in what they were doing for the day. In business SMS, text recipients can be free to wait to reply to a message when it's convenient for them, which helps your company prevent distraction through its internal communications strategies.
Automatic Event Reminders
Even if you do the advanced work of promoting an event well before it happens, you’re going to need a service that can maintain that kind of interest before the event takes place. The problem? You shouldn’t have to do it manually. An event management company has enough on its plate without sending out reminders—especially in the digital age when it’s so easy to automate these simple tasks.
This is especially important in the age of COVID-19, when there may be requirements for the event that attendees need to know in advance. For example, suppose you need to remind attendees to mask up before an event and any other COVID-19 issues that may determine how the event itself goes. In that case, an automated reminder can help people stay informed.
But that’s not all automatic event reminders can do. They can also keep people apprised of an event schedule, mainly if there is more than one venue for the event, as is common in weddings. For events like conferences, automatic event reminders help people keep travel plans in mind and requirements for identification badges if you have any.
The Benefits of Using a Text Messaging Service Internally
Why use an online texting service to get your points across to employees? Isn't it easier and cheaper to use email or to have everyone in for a pizza party in the conference room so you can speak with them directly? Well, you can still do those things. But adding an SMS service to your business text messaging strategies will help you utilize communication tools you might not have even known existed. Consider the following benefits to using text messaging services internally:
• Employee engagement. Given how prevalent mobile devices are, employees often prefer that you text them if you have to communicate with them outside of work hours. You can also use the functionality of SMS messaging to give employees RSVP links to company events or send quick notifications as reminders about company policies.
• A new level of interaction. SMS texting services can accomplish a lot more than you might imagine. It almost acts like CRM (customer relationship management) for your employees. Except you're not offering customer support; you're offering employee support. It might seem that SMS texting services are only good for mass text campaigns, but you can also encourage employees to text back and create a back-and-forth at your company.
• High open rates. Each notification can be significant with your employees, so you can bet you'll see high open rates when you use this service. High open rates contrast to other communication forms, which tend to be less codified and measurable. Or, in the case of email, employees may find it easier to send your message from the inbox to the trash bin. Employees can often see the entire text message with texts within their pop-up notifications.
• Automation. You can work from prebuilt templates if you need to create announcements or create employee promotions of some sort. This level of automation is beneficial for large companies, which have more communications needs than a typical small business. In turn, this makes your heads of communication far more efficient at their job.
Don't think of an SMS platform as only a customer-facing service. Instead, think of it as a new platform that companies can use on several levels. When turning that communication internal, you can spike new employee participation, boost the level of communication coming from leadership, and keep everybody in the know.
What Are Some Ways to Use Internal SMS?
SMS marketing services for customers are easy enough to understand. But what happens when you turn those efforts internal? You can accomplish all sorts of things: business announcements, meeting and appointment reminders, or even use SMS messaging to streamline your HR efforts. In short, your internal SMS will make every aspect of communication far more accessible and more intuitive, especially if you have a large company.
You can also use SMS to remind people about responsibilities, such as upcoming reports that are due or specific events that need to take place within your company. But these don't have to be all business. You can also use SMS messaging to reach out to employees with gift cards over the holidays.
After all, if you keep showing your employees that every text alert means more bad news, they might start to tune you out. Make SMS messaging as fun as you can, and it will help you engage more employees at your business. Don't just reserve your fun for the customers!