How ValueFirst is leveraging SMS to build meaningful interactions with customers

Enterprise communication platform provider ValueFirst powers over 60 billion interactions on SMS every year, helping organisations engage customers over the most preferred Communication channel SMS.

How ValueFirst is leveraging SMS to build meaningful interactions with customers

Monday March 27, 2023,

4 min Read

Today, people send around 18.7 billion texts to each other globally. SMS is still considered to be one of the most familiar modes of communication that offer excellent value for money. Confirming its position as the unwavering communication channel, SMS remains a relevant engagement tool for businesses to engage customers, employees, and partners.

The Ubiquitous communication method

20 years back, Gurugram-based CPaaS start-up ValueFirst started its journey of connecting customers with businesses, with SMS as the primary channel. Cut to 2023, they are still banking on the same, enabling brands to build meaningful interactions with customers.

Thus, for almost two decades now, ValueFirst has made it easier for brands to build meaningful interactions with their customers over telecom (SMS and Voice) and internet (WhatsApp, RCS and chatbot) channels.

Building product offerings with SMS as the core communication channel enabled extremely rich data available in the enterprise backend, that could be used to effectively engage with the customers over SMS as the data bearer.

That was the time when ValueFirst approached all telecom operators to utilise the SMS service for enterprises. On the other side, they built client-side and server-side solutions to integrate with any enterprise platform like Core Banking, CRM, POS, ERP, etc. Enterprises found tremendous value in this new solution, and gradually started engaging customers and notifying them via SMS for every hop in their engagement journey.

Relevant after 30 years

The first SMS was sent 30 years ago on December 3, 1992. During its first two decades of existence, text messaging witnessed a growth explosion. However, in 2010 when the larger mass shifted their usage to rich messaging channels, there was a slight fall in the technology's popularity for personal messaging.

Despite this, SMS as a communication channel refuses to fade. Today, ensuring seamless engagement for almost 3,000+ global customers, “ValueFirst started offering SMS-based messaging services back in 2003. OTP’s, verification, Order confirmation, Delivery status updates, Account Debit/credit alerts, upsell/cross-sell marketing offers – SMS has seen adoption across varied transactional and promotional use cases across all the Enterprise verticals,” says Gurmukh Singh, Chief Operating Officer, ValueFirst.

ValueFirst has been involved in driving customer engagement, acquisition, and retention, with the most advanced, user-friendly, and robust Enterprise SMS as a service platform. “We send over 5 billion SMS every month to cater to the transactional and promotional needs of our clients. And the crisp 160-character SMS gets the Buss Communication through in an effective manner” he adds.

“Besides, our in-house survey also found that 63 percent of the customers preferred SMS-based conversations with businesses, while 75 percent preferred to be notified via SMS for new deals and promotional offers. Most SMS gets read within 3 seconds of delivery” he adds.

SMS is the premier platform

 Initiating its journey as a powerful message across 160 characters, SMS is now broadening its horizon today with RCS, and omnichannel messaging – driving Buss Communication across varied messaging platforms – SMS, RCS, WhatsApp, and varied other OTT platforms.

 Rich Communication Services (RCS), aka SMS 2.0 allows businesses to add branding to text communications, helping to increase brand awareness and trust. RCS gives Android users the enhanced chat experience that’s usually found with WhatsApp and other OTT Apps, where it's easy to chat in real time. Every text businesses send via RCS includes a verification badge to show that the texts are trustworthy. For instance, the texts send out during account verification requests. Android users with modern handsets will probably have it already built-in.

With personal messaging being moved to other OTT Apps, the SMS inbox has become the new business inbox which only has OTPs, Banking alerts, EMI reminders, Flight confirmations, Order confirmations, Doctor appointment reminders, etc.

“We have the opportunity of working with popular e-commerce platforms like Myntra and Ajio. One frequent tactic is to send a text message with an offer as a follow-up after sending an email with an abandoned cart notification, this drives fantastic conversions and higher ROI for these Brands” Gurmukh explains.

While that was the e-commerce strategy, ValueFirst has incorporated SMS into the existing marketing strategies for names like Google, IndiGo, TATA Motors, P&G, InfoEdge, and Axis Bank, at every stage of their engagement lifecycle.

Road ahead

“Regulatory framework, demonetisation, and the pandemic have accelerated the digital transformation. Contactless and cashless economy-led initiatives are driving the adoption of SMS at a much faster clip. The near future will witness further value-adds in the pipeline in the messaging space, leading to a conversational messaging experience in SMS inboxes on certain platforms to enhance user experience on SMS even further. Buss SMS Inbox is going to become even richer in the coming days” concludes Gurmukh.