Sometimes my clients send me messages as SMS or “texts” on my mobile phone. That might be relevant for an urgent matter but often is being used instead of mail. From my clients view, they just see it as another, non-intrusive, way of sending me a message instead of calling which is polite as a phone call can be more interrupting than a text message.
A problem with SMS or text messages is that when they arrive I must read it to be able to decide if it is urgent and need immediate attention or if it can be responded to later. Once read, the “new message” notification on my phone is gone and I must remember to handle it later. There is a risk that I might forget.
My clients are also the reason I’m in business so I’m not complaining about my clients contacting my in any way (well ok, I might complain if they call me at 3 in the night wanting to discuss some non critical issue 🙂 ). Instead I find solutions and make things work better.
So one way of handling the problem of forgetting matters sent to me via SMS or text was that I installed an app in my phone that automatically forwards any incoming SMS as an email to my inbox. That way I can sort it into my normal work handling queues or even my ticket system.
There are many apps available for this, some free, some paid, with different amount of features in it. Some has advanced filtering and some can forward only messages from specific senders (or vice versa, forward all messages except from specfic senders).
In my case the best solution was just a simple app that forwards all incoming SMS as email so I use Relay Me (yes, I use Android) which works for me. There are probably similar solutions on other, non Android, platforms.
The best solution is to set up a specfic email account for the app (like firstname.lastname@example.org for example), not using your normal email account, because the app works both ways. If you reply to an email on your inbox that originated as a SMS via Relay Me, the reply will be picked up by the app and sent back as SMS to the sender.
For obvoius reasons the app will need data connection to the Internet to be able to send emails, so having a data plan on your mobile subscription is a good idea. The reason I liked Relay Me was, apart from other things, that it works directly with my own email servers, so there are no intermediate servers handling my messages.