VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP has revolutionized communication by enabling users to make online calls rather than traditional phone lines. VoIP phone numbers are popular in business settings because they allow users to call from most devices with an internet connection, including computers.
While often associated with phone calls, you can also use VoIP numbers to text customers, employees, or leads. In this article, we answer the top questions about VoIP texting, including what it is, how businesses use it, and how it’s beneficial.
Jump right to:
- What is VoIP texting?
- How does VoIP texting work?
- How do you text-enable an existing VoIP number?
- What are the benefits of VoIP texting?
- How can businesses use VoIP texting?
<h2 id="What">What is VoIP texting?</h2>
VoIP texting (or VoIP SMS) uses internet-connected phone numbers to send and receive text messages. It differs from traditional texting because it lets users text cell phones from desktops, laptops, tablets, or mobile apps. Phone-to-phone texting only allows people to communicate using a cellular connection between two mobile phones.
VoIP texting helps businesses connect with their contacts, often using a phone number associated with their employees or company.
<h2 id="How">How does VoIP SMS work?</h2>
VoIP texting works once you’ve text-enabled your VoIP phone number. You will need a VoIP service provider or VoIP SMS platform to help you do this. Once you pick a provider, you will access their application, create an account, and text from there.
The critical thing to note is that an internet connection (Wi-Fi, broadband, data, etc.) will replace the need for cellular service. This makes it possible to text from virtually anywhere and on most devices.
For the recipient of VoIP texts, the message doesn’t appear different. In other words, customers won’t notice the difference between a VoIP text and a text received from a friend. However, as the sender, you have more control over the device you use to send texts and have additional features at your fingertips.
For example, the graphic below shows what the text message exchange would look like from the sender’s perspective (on the left) and the recipient’s perspective (on the right).
<h2 id="Enable">How do you text-enable an existing VoIP number?</h2>
If your business already has a VoIP number, such as those offered by Skype, AirCall, WhatsApp, Google Voice, and Zoom, you can leverage it for VoIP SMS. To do so, you will want to text-enable it. Here’s the process of text-enabling via Textline, a robust SMS business texting platform.
1. Create a Textline account. The first step is to create your Textline account. We offer a free trial so companies can test our features and functionality before text-enabling with us.
2. Contact your current VoIP service provider. Reach out to your current VoIP carrier and ask them to remove the Service Profile Identifier (SPID) from your existing number.
3. Add the VoIP number. The next step is to add your VoIP number to your account. To do so, navigate to your departments and click Text-Enable an Existing Phone Number. Enter your phone number and contact information. Then, click request SMS hosting.
4. Sign a letter of authorization. Next, you’ll receive an emailed Letter of Authorization to fill out. Once that letter is signed, Textline will begin the SMS hosting process.
5. Start texting! You’ll receive an email when your VoIP number is ready to use.
<h2 id="Benefits">What are the benefits of VoIP texting?</h2>
Overall, VoIP texting improves business communication. Companies use it to stay connected with customers, leads, and employees. Let’s look at ten ways VoIP texting can help your business.
- Boost productivity. Adding VoIP texting capabilities allows teams to increase productivity. One agent can handle multiple text conversations simultaneously from a single inbox. On the other hand, agents can only handle one phone call at a time.
- Reach more customers. With VoIP texting, you can send mass text messages to your customers or employees. This means you can reach multiple contacts simultaneously with a single message, eliminating the need to type the same message repeatedly.
- Close more deals. Texts are a great way to get in touch with leads quickly. In fact, the average text is read within three minutes of receipt. Buyers often choose the company that responds first, so ensure it is your business with texting.
- Improve customer experience. Texting enables rapid back-and-forth communication. This means you can help solve customer issues or answer customer queries quickly via text to keep them happy.
- Provide multiple communication methods. By text-enabling a VoIP number, you’re giving customers and contacts another way to reach your business. Customers desire this multi-channel approach.
- Save money. The cost per interaction for phone calls varies by business, but it costs about $6 to $12 on average. On the other hand, the cost per interaction for texting is around $1 to $5. This means you could save money by adding texting as a communication channel.
- Save time with automation. Using a VoIP number on an SMS platform allows you to automate parts of your workflow. For example, you can schedule messages, leverage text templates, or set up auto-replies. On Textline, you can also use Routes to automatically assign incoming texts to the right person or use our SMS API for additional automations.
- Boost customer engagement. Texts have a 98 percent open rate and a 45 percent response rate. This is higher than emails's open and response rates. As a result, texting can ensure your message is seen and increases the likelihood of a response.
- Add convenience for contacts. Two-way conversations via text help brands and customers connect at convenient times. For example, it is often easier to reply to a text during the workday than have a phone call. It can also help keep some conversations more private. One good example is SMS recruiting. A candidate may be more likely to respond to a text than take a phone call about a new job during the workday.
- Visual aids. VoIP texting lets customers send attachments like photos, videos, emojis, or a website link. The ability to share visuals can cut down some otherwise lengthy conversations. For example, your support team could ask a customer to send a photo of a damaged item, or your sales team could request a video of a plumbing issue to provide a quote.
<h2 id="Use">How can businesses use VoIP texting?</h2>
VoIP phone numbers are great for business text messaging. Below, we break down eight ways businesses can use VoIP texting. Remember, these text messages appear on mobile devices like you’d see a text from a family member.
Customer support and customer service
You can use VoIP texting to improve your customer support efforts. Businesses use SMS to resolve customer issues, answer questions, provide proactive updates, share order statuses, and more.
Sales outreach and follow-ups
Use VoIP texting to follow up with your sales leads quickly. Texting is one of the fastest ways to connect with a lead, as the average text is read within three minutes. Send your potential customers a text message right after they fill out a contact form, or use it to schedule a demo.
Use your VoIP line to text candidates. You can share news about new job openings, schedule interviews, send reminders, and more. Plus, recruiters can keep their numbers private using a VoIP texting service. This ensures that their personal and business texts are separate.
In healthcare, VoIP texting is often used for appointment reminders. This helps cut down on missed appointments and avoids the hassle of playing phone tag. Sales teams can also use SMS to send reminders for demos or meetings to prospects, making communication smoother and more effective.
Use your text-enabled VoIP number to send payment reminders to customers or patients. A text message can cut down missed payments and reduce the time spent chasing late payments.
Use VoIP texting to communicate and coordinate with employees. With SMS, you can send employee memos, share job details, or coordinate logistics. SMS also comes in handy for businesses that have field team members.
Another use case is to send promotional text messages from your VoIP number. You could invite contacts to an event, promote a sale, or send abandoned cart reminders.
Request feedback or reviews
Use VoIP texting to request feedback or solicit reviews from your customers. You can conduct NPS, CSAT, or custom surveys via SMS. With texting’s high response rate, you can easily collect insights from your contacts.
See the benefits of VoIP texting firsthand with Textline
Enhancing your VoIP number with SMS capabilities gives your business a competitive edge. Respond faster, manage more conversations, and engage with customers on their preferred channel. Discover how VoIP texts can align with your business goals today.
To discuss adding texting capabilities to your current VoIP number, contact us or text us at (415)-849-4349 to connect with a representative.