As text messaging has become the most effective way of reaching your customer base, businesses and call centers have begun adding it to their communication strategy to create an omni-channel contact system.

Business call centers have, in turn, discovered advantages and disadvantages of choosing an SMS Short Code strategy vs. a SMS Long Code strategy for their marketing and customer texting outreach/response.

We’ll uncover the main points of difference across cost, timing, two-way vs. one-way texting and using your existing number vs. a new one.

Let’s compare how (and when) businesses can utilize short code texting vs. long code texting and ensure they are reaching the right audience at the right time.

SMS Short Codes

This is the ideal platform to reach a large audience quickly. You can send SMS Short codes to thousands of contacts at once, which makes mass marketing efforts easier as well as broadcasting brand announcements across your customer-base in one fell swoop.

It often looks something like this: For a pizza parlor, customers can receive the latest deal by texting PIZZA to the business.

Disadvantages of Using SMS Short Code

As expected, however, short codes face a clear disadvantage in how their delivery is perceived as impersonal by the customer since “one-way texting” can only be used for marketing purposes. It limits “conversation” and is only useful as a response to the business promotion.

Also, the approval process for setting up an SMS short code number can take months. After all that waiting, you still only have one-way communication with your customer.

Additionally, dedicated short code numbers can prove very expensive for business call centers. Before messaging fees, your business costs can reach $500 – $1,500 a month for short code texting.

Overall, SMS short code has its advantages as long as you don’t need two-way texting and if you have time andbudget for promoting outbound messages.

Top Benefits of Using SMS Short Code:

  • When you want to reach thousands of customers at once
  • When you’re promoting a sweepstakes or contest
  • When you’re sending out a survey
  • When you want to target a keyword for your business

SMS Long Codes

Call centers use long code texting to reach their customer-base with their existing business phone number and keep a consistent communication channel. Customers only need to remember one phone number and they can contact your business for any matter, promotion or otherwise with free-form text.

This feels more personal and better connects your customer with your brand. They can associate (and save) the number as your business and have a more direct line of contact with your people.

Ultimately, this improves the customer experience by routing it to the appropriate call center agent who works in the appropriate department or who handled the previous conversation with that customer.

Advantages of Using SMS Long Code

Long codes model their delivery to support natural customer conversation. Replies don’t have to be keyword-centric and offer the chance for an open dialogue with the business. Using the business phone number helps humanize the call center and improve the customer experience with “two-way texting”.

Unlike the two months it may take to setup a dedicated short code, SMS long codes can be spun up the same day they’re ordered. Customers can immediately begin reaching your business by phone or text.

SMS long codes have been proven to make more financial sense for a company looking to reach its customers across multiple communication channels. Text enabling your existing business phone number (long code)can cost as little as $100 a month and includes messaging fees.

Overall, SMS Long Codes can replace a phone call, whereas short codes cannot. And long codes create a more personalized experience for the customer while offeringa natural communication channel they already use every day.

Top Benefits of Using SMS Long Code:

  • When you need to text two-way with your customers
  • When you want an affordable and fast way to integrate texting into your call center
  • When you want to keep your contact numbers consistent across all channels
  • When you want texting to decrease call volume and lower the cost of interaction in your call center

Textel’s call center texting solution uses your existing business number to send and receive high-volume text messages and is supported with platform-level consent controls, CALEA compliance and carrier-grade security trusted by all Tier 1 wireless operators.

Discover Textel’s Enterprise Business Texting Solutions and find out how easy it is to  incorporate texting into your existing workflow.