What Is Cloud Phone SMS? - Aircall Blog

What Is Cloud Phone SMS?

Cloud phone SMS is the ability to send text messages from a cloud-phone system using cellular technology.
by
Nicholas Price

Cloud phone SMS, commonly known as texting, is a popular form of communication in our daily lives, and it’s now breaking great barriers in the business world. Why do people like texting so much? We live in a world where we’ve come to expect convenience and freedom. Whether you’re doing business or chatting with a friend, texting gives you both.

Texting gives users the option of answering immediately or taking a little time to think about how to craft an appropriate answer. By nature, we’re social creatures. To that end, we like to stay connected in every facet of our lives. What’s more, texting allows users to communicate with multiple people at the same time, which Isn’t always feasible with phone calls.

Fortunately for businesses, many of the technological advances that benefit everyday people bring great advantages as they translate to business applications.

What Is Cloud Phone SMS? 

Before you can understand cloud phone SMS, it helps to understand a little about how the technology for cloud phone systems works. Two types of technology form the basis of cloud phone SMS communications—VoIP phone technology and cellular technology. 

Let’s unpack the meaning of a VoIP phone system. The acronym VoIP refers to voice over internet protocol. VoIP is the technology that allows you to make telephone calls over the internet. For a host of reasons, more and more businesses are enjoying the benefits of cloud technology related to business phone systems. Cloud-based phone systems don’t require any hardware or on-site cabling. Rather, they leverage cloud technology to host phone numbers around the world.

With a cloud-based phone system, employees can call anyone anywhere, and the receiving party can answer the call on either a landline or a mobile phone. Unlike a landline phone, which only has one dedicated phone number, or a PBX system that has multiple lines, a cloud-based phone system has the capability of offering numerous different phone numbers.

A cloud phone number, also called a virtual phone number, is a phone number that businesses can use for inbound or outbound calls over the internet. 

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How does all this pertain to cloud phone SMS? SMS is an acronym for short message service. In simple terms, SMS is a way to send text messages from one mobile or cloud phone number to another. 

VoIP technology supports cloud-based phone systems to enable businesses to set up any number of cloud phone numbers. VoIP technology works with cellular technology to allow users to send text messages between parties. 

What Are the Different Types of SMS?

Text messaging has an important place in our society. We’ve all had times where we might not want to take the time to place a phone call, but we’d like to get a short message to someone right away. A text message is a short, typewritten message of 160 characters or less that a user can send or receive via a combination of cloud technology and cellular technology.

There are essentially two different types of SMS messaging—SMS and MMS. Overall, SMS is the most common form of text messaging in use today.

Let’s take a step back and check out the roots of text messaging technology. A German engineer by the name of Friedhelm Hillebrand and his colleague Bernard Ghillebaert were the early pioneers of text messaging, dating back to 1984. The men created a system that allowed users to send messages through the telephone network using GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) standards. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that the first SMS text message was sent through the United Kingdom’s Vodafone GSM network. Over the next two decades, the popularity of text messaging grew to where users were sending SMS messages by the hundreds of thousands every second.

MMS technology is the most recent form of SMS messaging. MMS technology is a variant of SMS technology that allows users to send a picture, photo, audio message, or video, either alone or in conjunction with an SMS message.

How Does SMS Text Messaging Work? 

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a text message? Cloud technology enables the call, and cellular technology enables mobile-to-mobile transmission.

Before you send a text message, an audio signal is created and it gets encoded into digital audio packets. This step makes it possible to send the signals to a recipient’s phone number. The signals are then sent from the destination phone number across the internet. On the other end, the audio packets get encoded again, so they make logical sense to the receiving party. 

Visualizing the Text Messaging Process

What does this look like in practice? Let’s say that you run a business out of New York City, but you regularly need to communicate with clients in Paris, France. With cloud technology, you could set up a French phone number and use it to make and receive calls out of your New York City office. When you use that phone number to call someone in France, it comes up on their caller ID as a French phone number. On the surface, it appears that you’re doing business in the very same country.

That’s only half of it, and this is where cellular technology comes into play. Cell phone towers preside over a designated area of land. Cell phones have built-in antennas that transmit and receive radio waves carrying binary information. When you make a mobile phone call, your phone transmits the audio signal from one cell phone tower to another until the signal reaches the party you’re calling. A network of computers connects cell sites to each other, and they monitor the locations of mobile phones, so that each phone can communicate with the closest cell tower.

Finally, we get to text messaging technology. When you prepare a text message and hit the send button, your message gets transmitted as binary code using cellular technology and cloud technology. Within seconds, your message appears on the mobile phone of the person you sent the text to and they can easily read it using an Android phone, iOS phone, or desktop computer. 

Why Use Cloud Phone SMS for Your Business Phone System?

It’s always a little scary to try out new business tools in the beginning. Fortunately, most software programs are user-friendly, and it generally doesn’t take long for users to get up to speed with them. The benefits of software tend to outweigh any inconvenience of learning the ropes, and that’s certainly true when it comes to SMS text messaging for business use.

Cloud phone SMS has the potential to greatly enhance your business phone system. Check out these four reasons to implement SMS for your business phone system.

1) SMS text messaging gives customer support teams greater capabilities for communications. Here’s what they can do:

  • Send and receive text messages.
  • Send 1 to 1 messages.
  • View the history of messages.
  • Call a contact from the messaging window.
  • Add a contact from the messaging window.

2) Cloud-based phone systems connect seamlessly with other software applications. Here’s how:

  • Bring call center software and other software applications into a central location.
  • Allow users to tap into cloud phone features and software application features at the same time.
  • Allow users to switch between communication channels on the same call.

3) SMS text messaging enhances the customer experience in these ways:

  • The flexibility customers expect in the communication process.
  • Customers use mobile phones often for buying and business purposes.
  • Quicker responses rather than waiting on hold.

4) Assists sales teams in improving sales quotas.

  • Sales team members can receive timely responses from prospects.
  • Sales team members can work from any location.
  • Constant communication prevents lost sales.

The Benefits of a Cloud Phone System

SMS text messaging is one benefit that you can take advantage of when you implement a cloud-based phone system for your business. There are lots of other reasons to consider switching to a cloud-based phone system, like these:

  1. Cost-effective. There’s no cost for installation or equipment and there’s no equipment to maintain. Cloud-based phone systems are subscription-based, which allows you to budget accurately for phone costs.
  2. Scalability. With a cloud-based phone system, you can add or delete users in an instant, allowing you to scale your call center staff up or down based on call volume.
  3. Flexibility. Cloud technology is flexible, making it possible for multiple programs to work together on a single platform. This means you can customize your phone system to the exact needs of your business. For example, you can easily connect your CRM software, sales software, help desk software, and a variety of other applications with your business phone system and sync the data together automatically.
  4. Virtual call center capability. With a cloud-based phone system, you can set up remote and distributed teams for sales or support easily. This gives sales teams greater mobile capability.
  5. Improves efficiency and productivity. Cloud-based phone systems place all the right tools and applications at the fingertips of your sales and support teams, allowing them to do more work in a shorter period of time while serving your customers better.
  6. Improved collaboration. Communication tools keep supervisors and peers connected for better communication, coaching, and support.
  7. Operate with a global presence. Set up national or global numbers to create a local presence in whatever geographical locations you choose. 

Why SMS Creates a More Versatile Customer Experience

Today’s customers like attention. The more versatile a customer experience you can create for them, the more they like it. Business SMS adds to the type of experience customers have come to enjoy and expect. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that text messages have a 98% open rate.

Here’s a list of a few ways that SMS creates a more versatile customer experience:

  • Easy-to-remember phone numbers. Your business can easily set up local, toll-free, international, or even vanity phone numbers to make it easy for customers to recognize your phone number and reach your business quickly.
  • Faster response. Text messages are short, making it fast and easy for your employees to connect with customers and vice versa. When it makes sense, customer support team members can always switch to a phone call, email, or chat if the conversation warrants a different communication channel that’s more effective.
  • Greater availability. Customers form an opinion on your brand early on in the sales process. Availability is one of the key issues that customers base their opinions on. SMS text messaging gives your customers the benefit of 24/7 communication, which demonstrates that your business is accessible to them any time they need it. Greater availability allows you to build stronger customer relationships, enhance brand loyalty, and generate higher revenue. 

The Benefits of Cloud Phone SMS for Your Business

Originally, SMS was primarily used for short personal conversations. With the sharp increase in mobile phone usage, businesses started to explore how to leverage it for business and marketing purposes. What they found is that it works great. Better yet, customers love it too!

Here are some reasons why cloud phone SMS works so well for business: 

  • Allows marketing departments to explore new audiences.
  • Enables effective, data-driven marketing campaigns.
  • SMS messages have higher open rates compared to phone calls or emails.
  • Allows you to send timely messages about promotions and special offers, which helps increase conversion rates.
  • SMS text messaging is more cost-effective than spending your budget on other types of advertising.
  • It doesn’t require an internet connection for someone to receive a text message.
  • Your business can reach customers instantaneously.
  • Customers can easily opt-in or opt-out of receiving your business text messages.
  • SMS text messages are encrypted by your cloud phone service provider, making it a secure and reliable way to reach customers.

Overall, the technology age has done a lot of favors for the communication industry and for businesses in general. SMS text messaging is one more tool that you can put in your communications toolbox to help your business operate efficiently, increase sales, and serve your customers better. Finally, SMS text messaging is one of those tools that greatly enhances the customer experience, and you can count on that to improve your bottom line.

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