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Alexander Haque Co-Founder at Clerk Chat
Alexander Haque

Co-Founder at Clerk Chat

SMS Archiving: When and How to Archive Text Messages

SMS Archiving: When and How to Archive Text Messages

SMS and text are excellent ways to communicate with consumers on-the-move, increase audience engagement, and enhance customer service. However, if you don’t archive text messages correctly, you could be exposing your business to unnecessary risks.

The reality is that most regulatory bodies in today’s world require companies to maintain a record of **all **their communications data, from AI message conversations, to SMS, email, social media interactions, and voice calls.

SMS archiving isn’t just a way to stay compliant with industry guidelines either. It’s also crucial to maintain a clear view of what’s going on in your organization, protecting your business from data breaches, and accessing valuable insights for decision making.

So, where do you begin if you’re new to the concept of saving archived text messages?

‍What is SMS Archiving?

SMS archiving, or text message archiving is the practice of securely saving, organizing, and storing messages sent and received via SMS. It’s a practice of retaining all of the messages that go back and forth between your business and customers, so you can access them at a later date.

For years, most companies have used archiving tools like Smarsh archiving to store call records, emails, and other content. Now that SMS has become a popular way for companies to interact with customers, you also need a way to archive your text messages.

Crucially, SMS archiving isn’t just about saving texts. It’s also about creating a system where you can categorize those messages based on things like sensitivity, or how long they need to be retained, and ensuring you can easily access the right messages at any time.

Plus, you’ll need to ensure your archived text messages retain all the data required by regulatory bodies, from meta data and contact details to stored images.

Why Do You Need to Archive Text Messages?

Archiving is a common practice among most businesses, particularly those in highly regulated industries like healthcare or finance. Keeping archives of conversations is what ensures you can protect yourself against legal risks and adhere to guidelines for things like TCPA compliance.

However, there are more reasons to archive text messages than simply ensuring you stay compliant with industry standards. These are the main reasons you should invest in SMS archiving.

Ensuring Compliance with Industry Standards

Probably the most obvious reason to keep archived text messages, is that many government and regulatory bodies require companies to do this. If you’re investing in HIPAA texting in the healthcare industry or SEC texting in finance, industry guidelines will require you to hold onto your digital communications data for a specific period of time.

Failure to adhere to these guidelines can lead to serious results, from multi-million dollar fines for finance companies without the right records to significant reputational damage.

Outside of keeping you aligned with industry standards, text archiving also ensures you can adhere to other generic rules for SMS compliance. For instance, you’ll need to archive your messages and keep records to achieve TCPA compliance.

Text messages archiving for financial advisors, healthcare companies, and other regulated organizations doesn’t just protect you against compliance problems. It’s also valuable for protecting your company when legal disputes arise.

If a customer launches a complaint against you for something an employee did during a text-based conversation, for instance, you can check the records of your texting strategies. The eDiscovery features in your archiving platform will help you find relevant data and conversations quickly, so you can use them to defend yourself during litigation.

If you discover that there was a reason for someone to launch a complaint against you, then you can use the information you collect to update your training policies and avoid similar issues in future.

Improved Business Decisions

When you archive text messages securely, you collect a lot of valuable data about your customers. While you’ll need to be careful about which data you use to plan your future marketing and sales strategies, you can use a lot of the insights you collect to improve your results.

Your archived messages, combined with analytical tools, can give you insights into the best time to send text messages to your customers, or what type of automated texting strategies generate the most leads. You can even gather data about different customer segments to personalize campaigns.

Data-driven insights will empower your marketing and sales teams with the information they need to create compelling campaigns that improve your return on investment for marketing.

Additionally, the data you gather could help you to improve customer experiences. For instance, you can learn what common questions your customers ask about your company’s products and services, and create self-service resources to help them address the issues.

Greater Data Security

Innovative SMS archiving solutions do a lot more than simply capture data these days. For instance, if you’re using Global Relay text archiving tools, you can set up proactive alerts and monitoring solutions that inform you when compliance risks emerge in your strategy.

Some solutions will include customizable monitoring settings that will alert business leaders to specific keywords and phrases used in communications. This is a good way to ensure you know when messages contain sensitive data that needs to be secured in a specific way.

You can even set alerts that can inform you when your insurance text message marketing team sends a message or receives a text that could cause future disputes.

Better Training and Employee Development

Another way archived text messages can benefit your business is by giving you the insights you need to better train and develop your team members. When you’re using an SMS solution for finance industry customer service or text for marketing purposes, the insights you’ll gain from historical data will help you to identify how to build future strategies.

You’ll learn what type of language employees should be using during customer service conversations, and how employees might be able to detect the right time to upsell or cross-sell a customer.

You might even discover ways of automating different text messaging strategies, so you can provide employees with tips on how to reduce their workloads and become more efficient.

How to Archive Text Messages: Choosing the Right Tool

Ultimately, to archive text messages effectively, you’re going to need the right software. You can’t just rely on your employees to save every message they receive and send. You need an automated solution that’s going to capture all of the right data for you.

The first thing to look for when choosing the right technology, is a system that integrates with your existing messaging platform. For instance, Clerk Chat integrates with some of the world’s leading archiving platforms, from Smarsh to Global Relay.

Next, make sure your archiving solution complies with the regulatory guidelines that apply to your brand, such as SEC archiving rules, and 10DLC regulations.

Key Features to Consider

Other key features to consider include:

  • eDiscovery and Search: The best SMS archiving solutions feature intuitive search functions to help you sort through your content quickly and easily. This will make it much easier to find records when you’re facing an audit or litigation.
  • Storage security: It should go without saying, but you can’t just archive your text messages, you need to store them securely. Look for encryption for data at rest and in transit. Additionally, ensure secure access controls are available, like multifactor authentication.
  • Innovative technology: Some of the latest text message archiving solutions include innovative new technology, such as AI-powered tools that can monitor conversations in real-time and give your team access to instant risk alerts. This can be helpful when you need extra help reducing risks in your organization.
  • Flexible integrations: Aside from integrating with your existing SMS solutions, your archiving technology should usually be able to connect with all of the other communication platforms and systems you use for phone calls, email, social media and more. This will give you a more holistic view of all of your communication data.
  • Scalability: Your messaging strategy is likely to scale over time. You might start off using bank SMS for customer service, then evolve to use the same technology for your marketing and sales campaigns. Ensure the archiving technology you choose can grow with your business, accommodating growing data volumes and user numbers.

 

Unlock the Benefits of Archived Text Messages with Clerk Chat

The chances are, if you’re using SMS for any purpose in your business, you’ll need to archive text messages. It’s not just an important way to stay compliant with industry standards and regulatory guidelines. The right SMS archiving strategy will provide you with valuable data you can use to boost marketing and training results, and help to protect you against threats.

Fortunately, with Clerk Chat, archiving couldn’t be easier. We make it easy for companies to preserve SMS compliance, with intuitive access controls, integrations with archiving technologies, and end-to-end security measures for all clients.

Unlock the benefits of SMS for your business and protect yourself from the risks. Request a demo of Clerk Chat today.

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