A Two-Way SMS service incorporates sending and receiving SMS through a web-based platform using complete solutions or application programming interfaces (APIs). Businesses in many industries interact with their customers using two-way SMS systems.
Since SMS messages have high open rates and fast response rates, the following industries use two-way SMS quite advantageously.
The media and entertainment industry encompasses movies, radio, television, art, games and much more. It can use two-way SMS in myriad ways.
TV viewers can send their votes via SMS to choose winners in reality shows or express their views on news stories. Such text messages are displayed or read out on air. For example, the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) enables viewers to chat on TV, ask questions to experts and celebrities, enter on-screen competitions, and order mobile products via their TXT TV channel.
TV stations and networks can launch pilots for new shows and ask audiences to text their opinions on it. News shows can alert their viewers about breaking news or weather warnings and receive localized information about them in return via SMS.
If it is legally allowed, media companies can send one-time SMS advertisements to people to check if they would be interested in subscribing to their services. They can message ticket booking confirmations, notify them about other events or shows, and even send promotional offers. By using a two-way SMS service, companies can also attend to requests from customers or resolve any issues they have.
Anytime people make a payment or banking transaction, they most probably need to use a one-time pin or enter an authentication code to complete it. Financial institutions ensure security, improve customer engagement, and provide other services using SMS. Some banks allow customers to request and receive information about balances, transactions, and account activity.
Retailers use text message to send sales receipts instead of providing paper receipts. This helps customers organize receipts easily and allows retailers to customize other text messages based on buying history.
They can send notifications about loyalty programs and sales promotions to customers and receive replies. Retailers can also set up a dedicated short or long code, advertise their phone numbers, and ask customers to opt in with their mobile numbers to receive offers and updates. Similarly, they can conduct customer surveys easily and quickly using two-way SMS services.
In the healthcare industry, text messages are used to send reminders, notifications and updates to patients. The reminders could be about appointments, filling prescriptions, vaccination schedules, etc. Some healthcare providers even send diagnostic test results and prescriptions upon request.
Apart from reminders, hospitals and clinics also send confirmation requests so that they can minimize missed appointments. Patients can respond, indicating whether they would be able to keep their appointments. Hospitals can send a list of alternate times to those who cannot. Those patients can then reply with a request to reschedule.
Educational institutions can integrate two-way SMS into their communications to keep students, parents and personnel abreast of all information. Two-way SMS can help them rid the enrollment process of paperwork and help students accept offers by just replying to a text message.
Using SMS, schools and universities can remind students about examination schedules, assignment deadlines, student meetings, and extracurricular events. Educational messages can include links to reports, exam results, grade sheets, syllabus information, etc.
Schools can use two-way texting to notify parents of closures, schedule changes, and special events. They can notify students and parents of security issues or emergencies. They can also use it to verify attendance and safety by exchanging information with parents.
The use cases of two-way SMS are becoming popular in many other industries too. Salons, fitness centers, and restaurants use appointment reminders and confirmations. Travel and tourism companies, hotels, and airlines also use two-way SMS services to interact with their customers. As more people realize the advantages of two-way SMS, they will find more innovative ways to use this powerful medium.
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