As more and more "land lines" are converted to VOIP or canceled (replaced by the mobile phone) people will lose capacity (the ability to communicate with numbers that are not VOIP or mobile enabled) and not realize it until after the fact or worse never realize it at all. And in the race for real estate and customers, cutting land lines has become a marketing ploy for mobile carriers as a way to justify spending more for service packages (TV, phone, internet) like U-Verse and Verizon's FIOS, and of course Skype, Google Voice and others. These companies are under no obligation to notify customers of changes in capacity. According to Pew Research, "89 million US households no longer own a land line." When we look at expanding 2-1-1's communication capacity, VOIP based services are not helping matters.
Text can help mitigate the damage caused by unscrupulous products that care far too much about winning customers and not nearly enough about maintaining a consistent level of service.
Americans are also making fewer and fewer voice calls. According to Pew Research, "Americans under 55 now text more than they make voice calls and email."
We recently conducted a webinar on the crucial role and future of texting and 2-1-1. See: Enterprise Short Code Texting Webinar Slides
For contact centers that are seeing their call volumes decline (even more so from land lines), text is helping offset the negative impact VOIP products have had on the industry. Text offers a much more economical way to provide live help and is now the preferred channel by the next generation of end users (in a recent poll 98.7% of WIC eligible moms prefer texting over all other channels, voice, email). Your clients want to text your agency for help. In fact, everyday folks who come across our services on the Internet try to text from zip codes (that haven't been activated). They are alerted that 898211 is not yet available for their region and they should make a voice call to 2-1-1.
We have a solution!
898211 is fully provisioned as a Tier 1 Enterprise Short Code for bi-directional text across all mobile carriers in North America. The majority of Americans own mobile phones. However, not all mobile phones can call 2-1-1. As mentioned in a discussion on the AIRS Networker, VOIP products are not required to provide home phone services with access to 2-1-1. Expanding 2-1-1's reach to all Americans has always been the core mission of United Way and its partners and 898211 helps accomplish this by expanding capacity and filling the gaps.
Increase reach and augment phone support with Enterprise Short Code Texting!
For a new generation of help-seekers, text is their primary choice. In an increasingly complex world of communication, 898211 offers a simple, easily-integrated text platform so your contact center is prepared for this next generation of help-seekers.
Key Facts about 898211
All mobile phones in the US can text 898211 (Try it! Text MYTEXT to 898211 You will receive a text back letting you know about the service! And if you request followup, we will do so).
898211 is provisioned as a Tier 1 Enterprise short code to support text communication for I&R (live, conversational support) and health/community alerts
898211 is registered as a 2-1-1 service with cell phone carriers, and is bound by CTIA, FCC and carrier guidelines to always function according to two categories of service:
1. Two-way I&R (live help from contact center specialists)
2. One-Way Health and Safety Alerts, Regional Disaster Alerts (pre/post) Community-Based Programs
898211 takes a big step toward expanded access by supporting 2-1-1's aim to reach more Americans with information and referrals!