One of the most important parts of working with a third-party service provider is ensuring adequate support for your company's needs. By discussing support, customer service and the firm's ability to deliver on the demands of your business's customers during the on-boarding process, you'll be able to ensure its service matches your operating needs and growth goals.

With SMS service, support can be tricky to determine because of the niche nature of mobile text marketing and SMS alert sending. Depending on what your business will be using an SMS service for, it will be important to outline support needs and gain a full understanding of what service level agreement you need.

A service level agreement (SLA), outlines the exact nature of the warranties, services, support contracts and guarantees offered from the service provider.

One key consideration, as part of your SLA, should be the mean time to respond and repair (MTTR). This determines downtime and how it will affect your operations. The MTTR in your contract will help you ensure maintenance or repair needs won't have a drastic impact on operations — the difference between getting back up and running within 24 hours, or seven days.

The International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) notes that nearly 35 percent of all contracts don't explain the provider's responsibilities to the customer.

"What we have to accept from this data is that many of the contracts are quite simply not fit for purpose," IACCM chief executive Tim Cummins told Supply Management. "They do not deliver the goals and objectives that we are aiming for."

Swift SMS Gateway offers expansive service level agreements and MTTRs to meet any business's needs.