Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a type of technology that lets you make calls over the internet instead of a phone line. Using VoIP, you can call someone using a computer, a VoIP phone or a regular phone with a special adapter. Businesses can also use the technology for VoIP texting – there are several benefits to doing so, as this article explains.
What is VoIP texting?
VoIP texting means sending or receiving SMS messages over an internet connection using virtual phone numbers. It differs from 'regular texting', which involves using a cellular network (and physical phone lines) to send SMS messages to a specific device.
How does VoIP texting work?
Whereas traditional phone numbers are assigned to a mobile device, VoIP numbers are virtual numbers assigned to a user. Because VoIP texting works over the internet, it can be done from a computer or app instead of a physical phone. Examples of well-known VoIP services are Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp.
VoIP networks take advantage of 4G and 5G wireless connections, meaning SMS text messages can be delivered faster than if using landline networks.
To send VoIP SMS from your business, all you need is an internet connection and a VoIP provider that supports bulk text messages (some will even support MMS messages). Once you've created an account with a VoIP texting service, you'll simply create and send messages through an app. Your recipients won't be able to tell that you're texting from a VoIP number.
What are the benefits of VoIP texting for businesses?
Text messages are familiar to everyone with a mobile device – that's 91% of the world's population! Users don't have to download anything to receive a text – it's a pre-installed app. Aside from the accessibility factor, SMS offers high open and response rates, which is why it's often the communication channel of choice for businesses.
There are several benefits of VoIP texting for businesses:
Automate and streamline processes
Scale up or down easily
Sync multiple online communication channels
Let's explore these benefits in more detail below...
1. Automation and streamlining opportunities
A VoIP SMS service allows you to schedule text messages in advance. This helps you plan and create campaigns at a time that suits you and deliver them at the best time for subscribers.
For example, an e-commerce business could schedule a Black Friday campaign early in November and set it to send automatically on Black Friday morning when all staff are likely to be busy dealing with customers and fulfilling orders.
The same goes for if you're planning a sale or new product launch – or if you want to automatically welcome new subscribers and thank them for signing up to your list. By automating and scheduling SMS campaigns, you'll never miss a marketing opportunity.
VoIP messaging also means you can streamline services and equipment. There's no reliance on cell networks; you only need a stable internet connection and essential VoIP hardware, such as a VoIP phone (unless you're using a service like Messente, where you can integrate our software into your application).
2. Cost saving
Cost matters, especially if you have huge message volume requirements. Most VoIP providers have their own fee structure for text messaging, but you can expect it to be much more cost-effective compared to texting through a traditional cellphone plan. International texting can also be cheaper, with some providers offering specific rates based on the destination country.
If you have team members that need to use text messaging, you can add them to your VoIP account and assign them their own virtual number. (You might need to do this for sales or customer service agents, for example). This saves you the cost of buying individual phones and plans for each worker.
3. Improved customer service satisfaction
These days, customers want to choose how a business contacts them. Giving them the option to receive texts shows that you value their preferences and that your business is accessible through multiple channels.
Many customers prefer to receive text messages rather than phone calls or even emails. Texts are less intrusive and can be read in seconds, whereas a phone call can take any number of minutes.
A VoIP service allows you to handle multiple enquiries and requests quickly – you can have an entire team of support agents responding to customers all via the same phone number.
A successful SMS marketing strategy involves growing your customer base. Scaling up your messaging and call volumes is costly if you do this using a mobile phone plan. And if you then need to scale down again (and are tied into a contract), you could make a loss.
VoIP texting is easy, cheap and quick to scale up. All you need to do is talk to your VoIP provider, and they'll work out a plan that best suits your requirements. Usually, you won't be locked into a contract and can change your plan based on your messaging needs.
5. Synced omnichannel communication
Traditional SMS and phone calls are limited to being phone-based. However, a VoIP texting service provides device and platform independence. VoIP SMS can be easily integrated into a CRM system with other internet-based communication channels like email, other messaging apps and social media.
When all these channels are connected in real-time, you can carry out omnichannel messaging, where customer-facing staff can see the full extent of conversations even if the customer switches channels part-way through (for example, from email to SMS).
Being able to access the complete conversation history is particularly helpful when queries are passed between departments.
Using VoIP for business text messaging
VoIP texting uses an internet connection and wireless networks. It allows your business to send and receive text messages to and from a computer or app, taking advantage of features like omnichannel communication, mass texting and campaign scheduling.
Synced communication, in particular, helps increase customer satisfaction. It means that employees in different departments can access customer conversation history and step in to help without asking the customer to repeat their enquiry.
A VoIP service is also more flexible than traditional mobile phone plans. Your VoIP service provider will work with you to scale your plan up or down, depending on your messaging volume. You'll also find that VoIP texting is cheaper than 'regular' SMS, thanks to lower rates.