SMS compliance is the process of adhering to a set of rules and regulations pertaining to the use of Short Message Service (SMS) for business communication. Organizations need to adhere to these rules to protect the privacy of their customers, avoid legal and financial penalties, and ensure that their messages are correctly archived. Let’s take a closer look at the importance, challenges, best practices, and solutions available for text message compliance.
Almost 40% of businesses use text messages to communicate with customers. The growing use over the past decade caught the attention of regulatory bodies, which led to the passing of several laws. Here’s why companies should take text message compliance seriously.
Text message compliance helps businesses maintain the trust of their customers and the public by following proper channels when it comes to text message communication. Consumers are increasingly concerned about how companies contact them and what they do with the data these communications generate. Compliant treatment of this personal information ensures that workers continue to opt into text message communication. This, in turn, boosts SMS’s return on investment.
Organizations and individuals that don’t comply with text message rules can face legal penalties from state, federal, and international agencies. For example, in 2022, Wall Street companies paid roughly $1 billion in fines for violations related to texting. Some of these violations involved instant messaging apps, but texting and recordkeeping were the overarching concerns. Consequently, companies should include SMS compliance in their risk management processes.
Text message compliance also helps businesses maintain financial accountability. Organizations often use SMS messages for marketing, customer service, and surveys. Companies must securely store the data these messages generate to protect them from potential claims or misunderstandings that can lead to litigation costs.
The challenges of SMS compliance can be daunting for companies, but there are practical solutions they can consider. Start by identifying the most likely obstacles that might affect your organization and then create a plan to solve them. Consider the following examples.
Communications regulations vary across states, countries, and regions. Companies operating in several geographical areas must become familiar with these laws and maintain compliance across the board. Note that regulations can sometimes contradict each other.
Maintaining compliance requires securely storing vast amounts of data for minimum periods as required by law. Even small companies using SMS can generate massive volumes of data that organizations must properly archive.
This is paramount when it comes to text message compliance. Companies must ensure that customer data remains confidential and is only used in a manner consistent with their customers’ wishes and consent.
Organizations can adopt several best practices that help ensure compliance with text messaging regulations. These are some of the many used by top organizations around the world.
Create a formal SMS policy that explains how your organization will use text messages. It should also detail how records of these communications are stored and handled and what customer expectations should be.
Businesses must remain aware of the right of their customers to opt out of receiving text messages. Organizations must honor these requests promptly and not send any further communications unless they have explicit permission to do so.
Customers should know what steps you need them to take. They should also know what they will receive when they sign up for text messages or via SMS for other products and services. This is especially important when using text messages for marketing.
Data storage is an essential part of compliance. Make sure you choose a secure platform for storing data collected via text messaging activities with appropriate access levels to ensure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive customer information.
Storing and protecting large volumes of text message data can be challenging, especially for companies embracing hybrid work environment and BYOD policies. Fortunately, automated capturing and archiving solutions make it easier to store and manage records related to SMS communications. This can help ensure compliance with both internal and external regulations.
Automated archiving solutions provide secure storage, automated backups, DLP, and data encryption. These are just some of the many you can expect when you choose LeapXpert for your record-keeping solution. Book your demo.