Aug 5 2010
Staying in touch with customers takes a lot of work. It’s been said that it takes seven points of contact before people are likely to buy from you. Whether they hear about you on the radio, get a phone call, receive a newsletter, people need multiple forms of affirmation prior to feeling comfortable purchasing your services. As any sales person or small business owner knows, this takes time, and lots of it.
One thing all small businesses learn is that automating redundant tasks will save both time and money in the long run. In particular, marketing and client management duties fall under this category. Every client needs the same confirmation phone call prior to their next dentist or doctor’s appointment. All clients need a follow up call, text or email once the service is provided, both to give them information and thanking them for their business. Each new day a round of prospecting phone calls or emails needs to go out to drum up new business. These daily chores take away from the time spent on the core service, and in turn take away from free time as well.
SMS Matrix provides a complete set of tools designed to assist with all of the above, and more. Their focus revolves around phone, fax and email communication, with options ranging from text messaging (SMS), voice broadcasting, text to speech (TTS), fax, and email. Text to Speech is particularly interesting in that you can type your message and it will be converted to an audible message. A detailed list of their services and solutions can be found on their site.
SMS Matrix offers four packages ranging from $0 to $100 a month. After saving up for months, I decided to give the free account a test drive. The display was fairly straightforward. I can create groups and send them various types of messages. I quickly broadcast an audio message of one of the theme songs of my favorite video game. Given that I used myself as a test subject, my phone rang within seconds and played the song I had just uploaded. It worked exactly as expected. Now, if I happened to be a massage therapist and was calling all my customers to confirm their appointments the next day, I could have sent out a personalized message. It comes with a particularly useful feedback option in that I can capture their response. The message can say, “Press one to confirm your full body massage appointment. Press two to reschedule. Press three to declare your undying love of President Obama, Press four for…” Clearly I can’t be trusted with this new toy. I mean tool. We all know the drill of touch tone phone service, but it’s fun being on the other side of it. All feedback is captured and can be read online so you can see which clients confirmed, rescheduled, or canceled.
Beyond offering a series of services, the scalability of SMS Matrix makes it the best of brand in online communication services. They can handle thousands of all types of message deliveries per minute, can deliver messages to more than 200 countries, support all major cellular and wireless carriers, offer virtual phone numbers which give you the ability for two way calls or messaging, and will even connect you to Christina Aguilera for a special, undisclosed, fee. If in the off chance the Christina thing doesn’t work out, they also offer an SMS API to allow you to integrate their system to your own. They not only built the tools for you to use within their own web interface, but they also built an SMS Gateway. This gives your own system, application, or network, the capability of sending SMS, Voice and Text-to-Speech messages. The more advanced integrations are of course for the likes of IT and developers.
The breadth of SMS Matrix’s services can be useful for many industries and applications. These include school telephone notifications, emergency telephone notifications, mortgage lead generation, medical offices, impromptu political campaigns, and nonprofit fund raising. The variety of options and potential is vast. SMS Matrix provides the tools, it’s up to the user to make something of it. I know for me, I might enjoy the service a little too much. And friends of mine might be getting a few random calls of old video games themes while I ‘test’ out the free account a bit more.