It is easy to see the effect the mobile phone has had on society – rarely is someone found without access to one, but how has the affected the business world? This article looks at a few of the factors that have contributed to the mobile phone playing a key role in the way businesses operate these days.
Mobile phones have developed at an astonishingly rapid pace since their widespread introduction less than twenty years ago but one of the major drawbacks that the powers that be are still ironing out is the major difference between the charges that are incurred when the caller needs to contact businesses that do not have a geographic telephone number.
Steps are being taken however and given the volume of people who have a mobile phone and who use it as their primary source of communication, it is becoming increasingly clear that what is known in the telecommunications world as voice short codes (VSCs) or premium rate SMS messages.
Both of these are designed for use from mobile phones in particular and are charged at a rate more appropriate for the mobile telephone.
VSCs are numbers that consist of only five or six digits and are designed for the customer to call the company and not incur the costs of an 084 prefix. Premium rate SMS are often the same structure or numbers but come with a keyword that the customer is requested to put in the body of the SMS message.
These words denote precisely what the customer is wishing to discuss with the company – it may be that they are entering a prize draw, casting their vote on something or providing feedback on a service they received. Often it can be used as a way of simply opening up communication between the customer and the company, so for instance they would send a text message to this number and then receive further questions by text message or email.
It seems fairly clear that these shorter number structures will feature more prominently in the future and that the next step may take inspiration from the call-back service that many companies already adopt. When calling companies with an 084 prefix it is perfectly possible that there may be an option in the future to text the company with a keyword such as “BILL” and said company can automatically call the customer. This will allow them to discuss their billing information, for example, without incurring the usual charges.
To learn more about the mobile phone and communication generally and how they impact upon business, contact ConCall.