A big old yellow pages book was plopped at my colleague’s driveway the other day. So what did she do? She immediately marched over to the recycle bin and dumped it in.
The days of ‘let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages’ are long gone in the Google era. Even traditional voice calls are becoming far less common than sending text messages these days. In fact, a recent Pew Study found that nearly all of us (97 percent) text at least once a day, and Nielsen research found that 56 percent of people would rather text than call a business customer service line.
Sure, placing a voice call is necessary at critical times. But businesses that want to reliably connect with customers are no longer depending on legacy marketing and communications. They’re using digital ads instead of the yellow pages and text enabling their local and toll-free numbers to increase customer engagement.
Voice and Messaging Make Good Bedfellows
As we’ve discussed in several previous blogs, more and more businesses are adding text messaging to their communications mix, recognizing that their customers would prefer to text them when seeing answers to common questions and problems.
So it’s not surprising that voice companies are also recognizing the importance of including text messaging capabilities in their service portfolios. As a result, we’re witnessing several mergers and acquisitions in the telecom space. Rather than having to create the capabilities that are becoming de rigueur in the text messaging channel, voice companies are taking the fast route.
Take iconectiv, a 35-year veteran of the global communications industry, which announced its acquisition of CSF Corporation last August. The acquisition includes CSF’s toll-free number management provisioning, routing, activation and disaster recovery they provide to over 100 services providers and enterprises.
But since CSF had already acquired Aerialink in 2017, the strategic acquisition also includes Aerialink’s cloud-based mobile messaging platform. My guess is that Aerialink’s messaging platform, used by enterprises and U.S.-based companies that manage toll-free number assignments and porting, created a much stronger suite of services for iconectiv.
CSF acquired Aerialink back in 2017 to “enhance its toll-free texting capabilities.” With one fell swoop, CSF, already a leader in toll-free provisioning and least-cost routing (LCR), added Aerialink’s innovative real-time text messaging capabilities for non toll-free numbers. It also gave RespOrgs and carriers a more robust solution for their enterprise customers by supporting the use of short codes and a wide range of SMS, MMS and location services via APIs and applications.
Stepping in the Right Direction
As businesses continue to take advantage of the wave toward using text messaging to communicate with both employees and customers, we will no doubt see more M&A activity in the telecom space.
Only those stuck in the yellow pages era will ignore the trend toward trusted text messaging solutions that enable businesses to develop stronger connections with their customers.
We at Midori Interactive embrace the combination of voice and MMS; it provides an easier path for those who want to combine those two communications channels.
Thanks to our deep understanding of both the telecom world and the chatbot world, we can provide our clients with the expert guidance they need to navigate the ever-changing world of voice and messaging solutions that enable businesses of all shapes and sizes to communicate with their customers in the ways they prefer.
Noah Rafalko, Chief Enterprise Officer
Midori Interactive, Inc.