Spoke Phone's Business Messaging allows Spoke Phone users to send and receive messages and files to each other, and to customers over the following channels:
|Business Chat||The sending/receiving of chat messages and files between two teammates or groups of teammates.|
|Business SMS/MMS||The sending/receiving of SMS and MMS messages between a customer and one Spoke Phone User or a Customer and a group of Spoke Phone Users.|
|Business WhatsApp||The sending/receiving of WhatsApp messages between a customer and one Spoke Phone User or a Customer and a group of Spoke Phone Users.|
Disclaimers and Exclusions
Spoke Phone is not a Marketing Platform and we have no plans as yet to support a bulk SMS/WhatsApp Outbound Campaign/Marketing capability in Spoke Phone.
Business Messaging is not the same as personal SMS or WhatsApp messaging. It comes with limitations and complexities placed by carriers and Meta, that can be hard to understand and setup. Message routing to teams of people, sharing numbers, intercepting messages, and other advanced capabilities give you a lot of flexibility, but also require some thought and planning. The Spoke Phone Professional Services team can help you plan the best approach for your specific use-case.
Spoke Phone offers robust inbound and outbound business messaging with customers, including:
- Channels: SMS, MMS, WhatsApp
- Formats: Messages, File Share, Images
- 1:1 conversations between a single customer and a single Spoke Phone user
- 1:Group conversations between single customer and many Spoke Phone users
- Team Inbox that consolidates customer messages into a single place that multiple employees can see and respond to
- Programmatic Messaging API for automatically sending personalized outbound messages
- Regulatory Opt In/Out Compliance for meeting the global regulations regarding the sending of business SMS and WhatsApp messages to customers
PLANNED in 2024: Group SMS conversations between a small group of external customers and one or more Spoke Phone Users.
Understanding Conversations, Shared Numbers, and Message Routing
Conversations vs., Messages
A conversation is a series of messages about a topic. There are two ways new conversations start: 1) those started by a customer (inbound), and 2) those started by a user (outbound).
A message is the individual back-and-forth TXT, files, etc. that are sent during a conversation.
If a customer that has never messaged your company were to send an SMS or WhatsApp, that would be a new inbound conversation. That conversation can be routed to one or more people inside your company, depending on how you've setup your message routing, and, one or more people could reply to that message, again, depending on your rules.
If however, A Spoke Phone user were to send an outbound message to a new customer, that would start a new outbound conversation, and replies from that customer would only go to that one user, unless that user adds more people to the conversation.
By default, conversations close after a period of inactivity, a user can manually close a conversation. Unlike personal text messages on your phone, business messages will close after 30 days or inactivity. New messages form/to the customer will create a new conversation. The history of the conversations will be stored in your CRM via the Spoke Phone Integrations, and you are able to display the content of those past conversations during future phone calls with the customer, by using Spoke Phone Caller Insights.
Dedicated numbers v.s Shared Numbers
Spoke Phone supports both dedicated numbers ( a number assigned to a specific person that is their private number for calls and messages), and shared number or shared line appearance, a number that more than one person can use to send/recieve calls and messages.
- Dedicated Number: If you want a person to have a dedicated number for private inbound/outbound conversations, assign them a DID
- Shared Numbers:
- If you want a team of people to be able to see and collaborate on inbound conversations that a customer starts with the company, then use a Team Inbox
- If you want some or everyone to share one or more numbers to start outbound conversations with customers (send an SMS or WhatsApp)
- Dedicated Numbers (DID):
- If a customer sends an SMS to a number assigned as a DID to a specific user, those messages are automatically routed to that one user and no one else sees or can collaborate on that message.
- A DID that is assigned to a specific user can be used by other user's to send messages by adding that number to an Allowable CallerID (ANI) List
- Administrators can intercept messages sent to a DID and change the routing and perform other actions, using Spoke Phone Inbound Conversation Data Actions. Outbound Conversation Data Actions are coming in October 2024.
- Shared Numbers:
- Team Inbox: Today you can assign a number to a Team Inbox
- By default, whatever users you add to that team see and can respond to inbound customers conversations (started by a customer).
- You can change what users get added to a specific conversation (altering the default Team Inbox behavior), by using Spoke Phone Inbound Conversation Data Actions.
- As users reply to customers from the Team Inbox, all replies go out from the phone number assigned to the Team Inbox.
- Team Inboxes cannot be used to start outbound conversations with customers, they are for Inbound Conversations only.
- Shared Numbers: You can share an SMS or WhatsApp number so that multiple users can start new outbound conversations with customers using the same number.
- Replies from a customer to conversations started by a user using a shared number are routed back to that single user by default
- If the user chooses to send from a shared number that is also assigned to a Team Inbox, then replies to that conversation go back to the Team Inbox
- If a customer was to start a new inbound conversation to a shared number that is not assigned as a DID or not assigned to Team Inbox, by default the messages would not be routed to anyone. Our recommended setup is to always assign shared numbers to a Team Inbox, so that new inbound conversations always go somewhere. Customers could also use the Spoke Phone Inbound Conversation Data Actions to determine where to route conversations on a case-by-case basis.
- Team Inbox: Today you can assign a number to a Team Inbox
Internal team messaging
- 1:1 chat
- Group chat
- Internal 1:1 and Group chat is available to all Spoke Phone users
- 1:1 customer conversations over SMS/MMS is available to all Spoke Phone users
- Group:1 conversations, Team Inbox and WhatsApp is only available to Spoke Phone Users on the Pro-CX license.
- Business Chat is available to all Spoke Phone customers in every country.
- Business SMS is currently available to Spoke Phone customers in most countries.
- Business WhatsApp is currently available to Spoke Phone customers in any country that supports WhatsApp use.
|Business Chat||No requirements.|
To send/receive Business SMS/MMS you must have at least one SMS Enabled phone number in your Spoke Phone Account.
A single SMS enabled phone number can be used by all employees (e.g. everyone sends/receives SMS via the one company number), or an employee can be assigned a dedicated SMS enabled phone number (DID) specifically for their use.
|Opt In/Out Regulatory Compliance||
Spoke Phone or a Spoke Phone Partner is required to setup regulatory compliance rules, keywords, and messages for each country you intend to operate in.
File sending limits
You can share/send images, documents and other files on Business Chat and Business SMS.
|Business SMS||JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, MP4, MPEG, QUICKTIME, CSV, PDF, RTF,||2 MB|
|Business Chat||JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, MP4, MPEG, QUICKTIME, CSV, PDF, RTF, and most other media types||20 MB|
|Business WhatsApp||JPG, JPEG, PNG, AMR, 3GP, AAC, MPEG, PDF, DOC, DOCX, PPTX, XLSX, MP4 (with H.264 video codec and AAC audio), Contacts: vCard (.vcf)||
Images: 5 MB
Special SMS requirements and costs for US customers
US regulations (10LOC) that protect against spam messaging require that we verify and file your address with the appropriate carriers and agencies.
For US customers or customers in other countries who send TXT messages from a US number to people with US numbers, there are costs to set up, verify, file, and maintain your company with the regulatory bodies in the US that control SMS message sending and spam.
|For US customers or customers sending SMS from US numbers to US numbers|
|One-time filing and verification||US$150|
|Monthly account fee||US$20|
- Due to spam regulations and carrier interconnect rules, Group SMS is not yet supported
- MMS is not supported by all carriers/countries