NJIHIA: How to identify your messaging partner

Choosing a mobile messaging partner can make or break your business pipeline as mobile interactions are inextricably linked to lead generation, demand activation and customer service.

As a business owner or manager, you should always seek out partnerships that both meet and exceed your business goals. Failure to do due diligence could easily result in irreparable brand damage, loss of revenue and in some cases legal battles.

Your service provider can only give certain baseline guarantees on quality and reliability when the distance to fulfilment of messaging traffic is shortest. For business critical messaging, this means zero or single hops between you and your customer.

A zero hop would refer to direct connections to a mobile network operator, OTT provider or other vendor controlled service. A single hop refers to the same architecture but with an intermediary. No two businesses are alike and your message partner should have an array of tools or access options that empower you to get going with short turnaround times.

Elegant accessibility through web, mobile and web services should be a default.

Accurate and on demand reporting powers business intelligence. Your BI is only as good as the quality and the speed at which data is received. This needs to be “pluggable” to your other systems such as ERP’s and CRM’s or accessible as dynamic reports that can be interrogated separately.

Your business is growing and you need a partner with the capacity to grow with you both long term and on demand such as when there are seasonal spikes in your messaging traffic.

Scalability matters and whether it’s one or one million interactions, you should not have sleepless nights.

Here, it is good to look out for additional partnerships that your vendor may have that lend credence to any claims that may be tabled. Apart from having solid relationships with operators, you should seek out a partner who is invested deeply in their space.

Truth is there are many rogue service providers out there who will not blink at the thought of cutting corners to increase margins or going contrary to legislation to compromise the security and privacy of consumer data that you have channelled.

This commitment must be visible and defensible. Ways in which you can access and interact with your customers are constantly changing, shaped by emerging technologies or regulatory requirements.

Good partners share best practice and give aice on how best to leverage current channels while preparing for what is next. The right partner takes care of more than just your messages.

Njihia is CEO of Symbiotic |www.mbuguanjihia.com