21st - Mar - 2016

Take Your Toll Free Beyond Voice – Toll Free Texting

Toll free texting allows businesses to send and receive SMS on their existing toll free phone numbers. This additional functionality allows businesses to use their toll free number for more than just voice/IVR to interact with their customers.

Sending and receiving text messages on toll free numbers is supported by mobile carriers in both the US and Canada. And unlike messaging campaigns that run on short codes, there are no campaigns or approvals required for toll free texting.

Why? Because specific guidelines on usage and content have been established and agreed upon by carriers and other stakeholders in the telecom industry. Toll free texting should be initiated solely at the request of the consumer, and the nature of the content should primarily be transactional and informational. Before a toll free number can be used for texting, the toll free number’s ownership will be validated and registered through the SMS/800 Registry. To further protect consumers all text messages from a text-enabled toll free number must comply with the TCPA.

Earlier we mentioned there are no campaign approvals required, which is a benefit both in time and money saved when starting a message program. But there is even more cost savings to you when you enable your existing Toll Free Number. Not only does it offer your customers a convenient channel to initiate communication with you, but it will save you on monthly costs when compared to using a dedicated short code, which is leased and assessed monthly fees.

What benefits can be gained? Let’s take a customer support situation, where we have a fictitious company who manufactures and distributes hoverboards, and has a toll free phone number, 888-HOVERBD (888-468-3722) for all customer support related inquiries. Unfortunately, due to bad press around competitors’ hoverboard products, the customer support line is inundated with phone calls. The company learns they can add text services to their toll free number and decides to enable it for SMS.  Now customers are able to text inquiries to the customer support team via SMS, and the support team can respond using SMS.

How to use toll free texting? Keywords can be set up to send back information or get assistance. Using the same fictitious hoverboard manufacturer, they have set up a keyword, CALLME – once a customer texts this in it allows a customer support representative to initiate a direct call back to the customer on their mobile phone. Another use for keywords is to provide automated responses based on the keyword sent, for example, the keyword BATTERY – where the auto-response text message sent includes a link to a web page with the details and specifications on the battery installed. Additionally keywords could be used to provide general information for example, the keyword HOURS to get the store hours or ADDRESS to get the store location. There are numerous possibilities for using toll free texting to augment customer interaction.

Interested and ready to enable your toll free number for texting? If so, we are here to help, Mblox now offers toll free texting services in the US. To add this new service and take advantage of the benefits of a text enabled toll free please contact us today at sales@mblox.com.

Author: Mblox Product Management

Originally posted on mblox.com

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