On the surface, texting from a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider seems like a logical approach. Why go through the process (and expense) of texting from additional software if it’s possible to text from a voice provider that can bundle both services for you?
It’s a simple question with a layered response: In most cases when texting from VoIP providers, you miss out on important safety features and task automation benefits that you would otherwise have access to with the right business-texting software.
Here’s why it’s important to treat texting as an indispensable communication tool that’s worth the effort and resources to merit its own software.
Texting from a VoIP provider
Purchasing texting capabilities as part of a larger VoIP package is understandably appealing given the convenience and nominal fee. But … you get what you pay for. A VoIP provider’s texting service may have limited functionality and can be far from comprehensive. Texting is tacked on to a larger, separate service and it’s unfortunately treated that way. Because VoIP focuses on voice, there’s no dedicated development for its texting service, which leaves you with only basic texting functions in most cases.
VoIP texting is a great option to get your feet wet with business texting, but if your goal is to truly provide the best texting experience for your customers, consider texting-for-business software instead. Texting is the preferred way customers like to chat with businesses and they expect it as an option to reach you. If there are barriers to how they can text you, it defeats the purpose of adopting the medium in the first place and will greatly frustrate your customers. So before making the decision to text from a VoIP provider, consider the following benefits you may be without.
Texting benefits you won’t always get from a VOIP provider
Top security and data privacy. One of the top discussions among businesses today is how to protect data and maintain customer privacy. According to a survey by internet security and privacy company Anchorfree, 95% of Americans are concerned about businesses collecting and selling personal information without permission. Privacy matters to your customers and many VoIP providers don’t focus on this, usually lacking the following:
- Data encryption. Without encryption, outside parties can access messages that are meant to stay between the business and customer.
- Guidance with text messaging compliance. Most providers don’t supply resources or discuss the importance of what it means to appropriately text customers and best practices to follow.
- Automatic “STOP” command support. When customers no longer want to receive messages, they reply with “STOP” to take them off the communication list. When managed manually, it gets hard to track who you can text and who you can’t, leaving more room for human error.
- Spam prevention. Dozens of spam messages are blocked from our phones every day thanks to sophisticated spam guards from mobile carriers and select message providers. Some VoIP providers, however, may not have the same technology to protect customers from unwanted messages.
Disruptions to your business goals and team workflow. Many businesses adopt texting to save time when communicating with customers: emails only have a 20% open rate and phone calls are regularly ignored, which means hours can be wasted just trying to get a hold of someone. Texting works because it gets messages through faster and elicits an urgent response. But when businesses use VoIP texting, they might miss out on their expected ROI because the features they hoped would speed up communication may not be available. Not to mention, texting also greatly benefits employee workflow, but that can’t be fully realized by a team when using only basic features. VoIP providers tend to lack the following:
- Task automation features. Auto-reply, scheduled texts, keyword-triggered responses and reusable templates are among the needed tools to cut down on daily repetitive tasks, such as scheduling and confirming appointments. Automated features accelerate the communication timeline between businesses and customers, saving employees valuable hours every day.
- Integration options and mobile apps. Many VoIP providers don’t offer a suite of integration options, and mobile apps for the product aren’t usually available either. Team productivity is hugely affected when you can’t easily integrate text messaging into software you already use every day, and if your employees don’t spend a lot of time in front of their computers, there’s no way to respond to customer messages on the go.
- The option to keep your existing phone number. If you’re considering switching to a VoIP provider, you might have to purchase a new number. You’ll then have to advertise the change to your customers, and it may confuse them.
- The ability to continue texting during provider outages. If your VoIP provider experiences an outage, your texting line will be affected, too. You could miss important customer messages if both your phone line and texting line are down at the same time.
Why business texting from dedicated software is the better option
If you’re going to text customers, do it right. With sophisticated texting-for-business software, you’ll leverage complete business texting features that automate tasks for employees, saving hours of time every day. And with a secure network that safeguards messages, your customers won’t have to wonder if their data is safe from prying eyes.
Zipwhip texting-for-business software is the tool businesses need to text customers the right way with features that VoIP providers don’t usually offer. We can enable your existing landline, toll-free or VoIP number with essential texting features like:
- State-of-the-art data encryption that ensures conversations stay within your company’s system. Messages are encrypted with top technology from our carrier’s own messaging platform.
- Proprietary spam-blocking solution developed by our own machine-learning algorithms to protect customers from unwanted messages. Last October, for example, we blocked 21% of spam messages from reaching customers’ phones.
- Task automation features, such appointments scheduling, group messaging and reminders, that allow employees to spend less time on the phone and more time building relationships with customers.
- Compliance support from the industry leader in business texting. We created the landline and toll-free texting network, after all.
- Native STOP command support ensures compliance with automated STOP commands at the network level, meaning your team doesn’t have to worry about keeping up with who they can and can’t text.
- Integration suite, mobile apps and browser extensions for CRMs. When texting is integrated with tools your teams use every day, you’re creating a recipe for productivity success. Merge Zipwhip’s texting features into your preferred products and tools, including Salesforce, Clio, Zapier, MINDBODY, SalesLoft and more. And with our browser extension, your team can text from any web page or web app.
- Reliable operations during VoIP carrier outages. Zipwhip texting is done through its own product, so you’ll still be able to text from your VoIP phone number during an outage.
- Text enable your existing business number. Zipwhip lets you keep the phone number your customers already know. We’re the only business-texting software with direct connectivity to all mobile carrier networks, including Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. This means we can text enable your phone number in as little as 20 minutes.