When you have notifications to send to customers, you want them to arrive as quickly as possible. Delays in important information about accounts, transactions, or appointments make customers unhappy, and can get them thinking about becoming someone else’s customer instead of yours.
The best communications channel for delivering notifications is SMS text messaging. SMS has a wider reach and more immediacy than options such as email and phone calls.
SMS is simple, quick, and cost-effective. Text messages get important information to your users when they need to know it, so they can act on it right away.
But while the technology is capable, you have to avoid some pitfalls to take best advantage of it. For instance, writing applications to deliver messages at scale requires a lot of code to ensure that correct phone numbers are being used for each recipient’s network and phone number type and the use case for the message. Writing and maintaining communications platforms and ensuring that messages are in complaint with the receiver’s country regulations is a time-consuming, expensive endeavor. This means increased development time and expenses.
Instead of writing the code in-house, you can turn to a communications platform as a service. But all CPaaS platforms are not created equal. Sending SMS messages can be similar to traveling internationally on an airline that uses a hub-and-spoke model. The airline decides what routes to operate, and you have to take those predetermined routes to get to your destination, which may involve transfers. Similarly, many CPaaS providers can’t provide a direct route from the sender to receiver. Sometimes, an international message may be transferred five or six times to get to its final destination. Worse, some CPaaS providers rely on aggregators to deliver messages on their behalf. In many cases, these aggregators utilize “gray routes,” sending messages to users in another country without paying the recipients’ networks for their delivery, which can result in low delivery rates.
For fastest delivery, your SMS platform should have direct connectivity with carrier networks in the countries where it operates. Going through aggregators is a sure way to slow things down. And if you have customers in multiple countries, you want to make sure your SMS platform has a global presence.
To minimize message delays as messages sent to customers across multiple networks, your carrier should employ automated quality checks and route around delays. Plivo deploys simulated handsets as test nodes across all the countries with multiple operators from the respective country, provisioned with real phone numbers from operators local to each region. We send messages to these test nodes, and the results we receive back help our dynamic routing engine intelligently route messages to ensure speed of deliverability.
That helps keep our whole network speedy — but it’s not the only tool in our toolbox. Our Conversion Feedback API lets you update Plivo on conversions from two-factor authentication (2FA) and one-time password (OTP) SMS messages. Whenever a recipient successfully authenticates using the verification code they received, Plivo can make a post to an API endpoint. Plivo uses feedback to measure the reliability of the networks it uses so it can maintain high delivery rates in countries where carrier networks are sometimes unstable.
All of the features work together for effective, timely communication, according to home-sharing platform Houst, a Plivo customer. Company founder James Jenkins-Yates says, “When a guest has booked a rental, we send a set of automated messages using Plivo. There are several different reminders sent, including payment, verification, check-in, check-out, and review requests,” most of which require timely delivery — and that’s what Plivo delivers for Houst.
Check out our blog on how we architect our platform for high reliability. It explains how Plivo’s infrastructure and global network ensure that all SMS traffic is sent via the fastest, most reliable route.