Text Messaging Featured Article

Five Reasons Why Long Codes Are the Future of Text Messaging

February 19, 2013

Sorry if you had your heart set on using short codes for your marketing campaign. Short codes, or those SMS numbers usually five digits long, are starting to become a technology of the past. Meanwhile, long codes have replaced short codes as the way for businesses to interact with customers via text, and these longer codes have a number of benefits yet to be discovered by many.

Thankfully, industry expert TSG Global is here to help with an excellent whitepaper.

There are at least five reasons why businesses should choose long codes, which basically are the 10-digit telephone numbers we are used to using every day. The five benefits of long codes include consolidating communication, localizing the experience, improving the customer experience, becoming more customer-centric and facilitating interactivity.

First, long codes simplify communications by moving more of the communication to the same number. Unlike short codes, which can only be used for text messaging, long codes are telephone numbers like any other. So they both can serve as a voice and a text message channel rolled into one.

Second, long codes localize business.

“The day of the 800 number has passed and many studies have shown that customers want to buy local,” wrote Greg Prescott in the  white paper about long codes. “Whether a business is local with just one location or a multi-national chain with thousands of locations, the Long Code will give them that local presence. For the larger company this is accomplished by having a local phone number at each local community store.”

A third benefit of long code is improving the customer experience. Whether good or bad, customers have come to expect a personalized experience. Long codes give customers more ways to reach a business, which allows for a greater personalized customer experience. Instead of just calling or texting with a number, customers now can choose which way they prefer.

This should not be overlooked, since 85 percent of customers said they would pay up to 25 percent more to ensure a superior customer service experience, according to the whitepaper.

A forth reason why long codes supplant short codes is because long codes are more customer-centric. They help companies collect data better on what the customer wants, because customers are able to communicate with a business more easily. They also give customers more options to reach the business, which is always good for and welcomed by the customer.

“Business who SMS Long Code (text message) enabled their telephone lines have created a perfect environment for not only gathering data and intelligence, but also giving their customers a choice for their preferred form of communicating,” noted Prescott.

Finally, long codes are more interactive. They can be used to communicate with customers, and thus, have the customers easily communicate back.

“The Long Code is just the best solution based on price, performance, convenience and time to market for creating Interactive, two-way communications,” Prescott concluded.

There are many solutions providers that offer long codes, but one that should be on the shortlist of anyone adding an SMS strategy to their business is TSG Global and its FlexTALK SMS service. FlexTalk can instantly deploy local long code numbers in 80 percent of the U.S., and the voice component of the number comes with US & International DID Service, VOIP, Inbound local, outbound local, long distance, International calling and other features. As FlexTalk likes to say, its service is to long codes what Apple’s (News - Alert) iPad is to tablets.

Regardless of the service used, however, the days of the short code are coming to a close. So forget short codes and make sure your business is using a long code solution.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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