SMS is more popular than cars, more popular than computers, even more popular than TV. There are almost more than 4.5 billion people using SMS, sending more than six trillion text messages in 2011.

Despite the popularity of text messaging, businesses have been extremely limited in their ability to market and sell products and services through this channel. Why? Because text messaging doesn’t have the intelligence required to handle business transactions. This is why BookIT created iSMS.

iSMS enables easy to use services and secure business transactions from any mobile phone
iSMS allows any business to interact with their loyal customers in a secure fashion, regardless of which phone or network their customers are using. iSMS enables any enterprise to reach customer with relevant offers and provides quick and easy method for the customer to accept and pay for products and services they want.

In Finland, where iSMS was first introduced, over 50% of population is already using the service for everything from travel, automotive repair, even health care and banking. In the banking sector for example, iSMS is used to confirm suspect purchases with the customer and prevent fraud, to offer the customer for increase their line of credit, to renew fixed term deposits and to pay bills, to name just a few.

With iSMS, enterprises are able to create interactive dialogs with the customers and even keep track of multiple conversations in different threads. iSMS also includes two factor authentication, so that each message leaves a unique fingerprint on our server to prevent fraud. And most important, iSMS makes the process and services simple to use. The customer can accept relevant offers and make payments by replying with just one letter.

Proactive services for the frequent travellers
For example, a frequent traveller is on the way to the airport and receives an offer to upgrade to first class using their credit card. The customer accepts the upgrade by replying with a single letter and receives the boarding pass directly to their phone. The whole process takes less than 20 seconds. At the airport the customer bypasses long queues and goes straight to the gate. After landing the customer can accept an offer for a limo or tickets to the opera. The entire customer experience is made seamless and enjoyable. The busy traveller receives the right offer at the right time. This is what proactive customer service looks like.

Innovative mobile solutions are must in the challenging operating environment
Airlines worldwide are operating in a challenging environment where competition is hardening and costs of customer acquisition and retention are increasing. Another huge challenge is to efficiently communicate with extremely mobile international passengers.

This challenge was tackled by Finnair, one of the world’s oldest operating airlines, with operations focus on transporting passengers between Europe and Asia, via Helsinki. As a result of close co-operation with BookIT, Finnair was the first airline in the world to enable passengers to check-in in advance for flights with a text message in 2004.

Introduction of BookIT’s patented iSMS mCheck-in service was an instant success and the penetration rate of the service grew rapidly to over 75% among frequent fliers. The new service was also an immediate commercial success and saves Finnair millions annually.

After the enormous success of iSMS mCheck-in, Finnair started to develop additional customer service processes using iSMS including iSMS Upgrade with Points.

Successful introduction of new iSMS Upgrade service
Finnair’s new iSMS Upgrade service was introduced to loyalty program members in 2009. From the beginning this new service was bolted in to Finnair’s core customer service processes.

Due to complex service and operating processes, Finnair created detailed criteria to whom and when this upgrade –option is offered. One key goal was to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by proactively offering possibility to use earned loyalty points for upgrades to already purchased tickets. Another key goal for Finnair was to optimize capacity of each flight.

All iSMS Upgrade service offers are created individually based on flight seating and passenger tier class and points status before or after the iSMS mCheck-in message. These offers are dynamically created by a robot which automatically fetches data from Finnair’s loyalty database and other backend systems.

iSMS services have been successful and customer acceptance positive because;

Ease-of-use and reply
One-button-reply; customers are able to reply to messages with a single letter
Customers don’t need to install software, remember user codes or passwords etc.

Individuality and personalization
Each iSMS service message is unique based on the customer itinerary and loyalty points status

Convenience and reachability:
Services are proactive and require minimum effort from the customer.
99.8% of all customers are able to receive and reply to iSMS messages regardless of time and location
Service is end-to-end and works on all mobile phones, SIM-cards and operator networks worldwide

iSMS Proactive customer solutions are provided by BookIT
BookIT, a pioneering Finnish mobile technology and services company has developed the highly scalable and patented technology called iSMS®. It enables secure two-way transactions on all mobile phones, SIM-cards and operator networks globally. With iSMS® and its patented functionalities e.g. global roaming, session management and authentication, BookIT is able to provide proactive customer solutions to any airline.

Try our iSMS Check-in demo by sending a text message with only a letter C to +358 50 69394.

January 15, 2011