Businesses are finding it increasingly challenging to get hold of clients telephonically, even though most customers prefer personal contact when their input is required. Calls may go unanswered for a number of reasons, the most common reason being that the receiver does not wish to answer a call from an unknown or private number. Such calls have a much higher chance of being a telemarketing call. Businesspeople now get to screen their own calls – this is somewhat different to a past where the office receptionist or secretary screened incoming calls.

The reason why most telemarketing and business calls originate from “unknown” or “private” numbers is because these calls are routed via mobile least cost solutions. This simply means finding the cheapest cost to route a call. For calling a mobile phone, the cheapest route will typically be via a cellular router (basically another mobile phone). Some people do not listen to voicemail messages timeously and some have completely disabled voicemail facilities. All these factors can have a negative impact on the ability of a business to reach their clients for legitimate reasons.

One of the ways that businesses—both large and small—could take advantage of the recent surge in mobile activity is by adding SMS into their correspondence mix. SMS offers two-way communication, which means the recipient can respond immediately and directly. A business can use SMS before placing a call, by describing who will be calling, the reason for the call, and also offer the client the option to propose a more appropriate time for calling, if required.

SMS’s are often read within five minutes of being received. They are short (160 characters or less), less invasive (compared to a phone call) and can be responded to when the recipient has the time, making it more customer orientated than a phone call. SMS combined with a voice call allows for efficient, effective yet personal communication between a business and its customers, at a time and place that suits both parties.