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Is your SMS supplier delivering quality? Here’s how to evaluate the service you’re getting

SMS delivery is a technically complex service, and it can be hard to know what problems will come up. To handle this, quality SMS suppliers work continuously with delivery statistics and real-time data. This allows them to find and resolve issues before they can cause real damage. This makes delivery statistics key for telling quality a SMS service from a low-end or even dishonest service.

What does good SMS delivery look like?

When you use SMS for business, for example to nurture key stakeholder relationships, you need to ensure your messages get through. SMS that don’t make it to the right person at the right time cause customer dissatisfaction. Using poor communication channels can impact your organization by causing badwill and loss of business. When you use SMS communication, you want to know for sure that your message will reach the right recipient at the right time, with all content intact.

One issue in evaluating SMS suppliers is that industry standards are fairly low. For a long time, the standard has been to try with “best effort” to deliver every message.  This makes it hard to be sure that your messages will reach your recipients. Many operators also give lower priority to SMS traffic than to voice traffic. International statistics show that, on average, 5% of SMS don’t reach their recipient, and many arrive much later than intended. While this isn’t good for private SMS, it’s completely unacceptable when you use SMS for business. Businesses shouldn’t settle for this 5% loss – especially if they can’t tell which messages remain undelivered, or why.

Top SMS providers work actively to monitor and uphold the quality of their service based on delivery statistics. These statistics provide detailed information about the delivery process for messages that you’ve sent, such as details anything that might have gone wrong in a delivery.

Delivery Statistics – The Key to Quality

Delivery statistics confirm the number of SMS you’ve sent, as well as how many were delivered. Take caution when vendors only share data about the status of sent messages, and leave out other statistics. Good delivery reports tell you what happened all along the route to recipients, so you can trace any problems back to their source in the supply chain.

The statistics also provide information about how long it took to deliver your SMS. This is especially important when your SMS is only relevant for a short time, such as a one-time password, a purchase confirmation, or anything someone expects and is waiting for.

Using aggregated statistics to determine how good your SMS delivery is let’s you assess overall quality. For example, if all SMS arrive within 15 seconds, it’s a strong sign that your SMS supplier cares about quality. Low quality suppliers can take any amount of time to send a batch of SMS. They don’t work toward clear targets like quality SMS suppliers do. In many cases, good suppliers will offer a tailored service-level agreement based on your organization’s unique needs.

The statistics should also include information about SMS that haven’t been delivered. Quality suppliers will make attempts to resend these SMS. If your supplier is trustworthy and some messages remain undelivered, it’s usually because a recipient is outside of the coverage area, or their phone is turned off.

Finally, reports should contain details about messages that don’t reach recipients. These reports show you why some messages don’t get delivered. Incorrect phone numbers or phones that are turned off for a long time can keep SMS from reaching recipients.

When you compare the number of system errors to the number of SMS delivered, you can evaluate the quality of the delivery and the supplier.

Good Documentation Makes it Easier to Tackle Challenges

The complex SMS ecosystem makes it hard to predict when and if problems will arise. But reliable statistics and real-time data let quality SMS suppliers find and solve problems, before they impact your business.

When you know your SMS supplier is good, you don’t have to monitor delivery statistics as closely every time. Good SMS suppliers will keep a close eye on the distribution chain for you. Knowing that lets you focus on making and sending great messaging.