This is the time of year in the northern hemisphere when the weather gets busy. Floods, hurricanes, storm surges and even tsunamis. And that can spell disaster for insurance companies and utilities who are under-prepared to deal with an influx of enquiries and claims from worried customers. Alerts can be used as a way to inform customers of safety measures and reduce calls to the contact centre.
Public sector departments or companies that manage large numbers of appointments can also be thrown into disarray by unexpected weather events which can prevent them from opening or cause staff shortages. The NCT (National Car Testing Service) have used SMS alerts to notify customers at short notice when appointments were canceled. Even county councils such as Clare County Council are now taking on the responsibility of sending out weather alerts and flood warnings to their constituents.
But what is it about SMS that makes it ideally suited for Alerts?
1) Immediacy: 90% of all messages are read within 3 minutes and on average your SMS will be seen by the customer within 6 minutes.
2) Cut-through: overall 98% of all messages will be read compared to 25% of emails
3) Ubiquity: although over 85% of the public have smartphones, 100% have SMS and unlike push notifications it is “always on”
Email and social media are great for communications that aren’t time-sensitive, but when you need to achieve any or all of the 3 points above then SMS continues to be the best and most ubiquitous messaging platform.
And finally, the very simplicity of a text message is one of its advantages when sending out a message quickly – no design required! Although link previews can be included using iMessage if appropriate.
So as you can see, SMS alerts are an ideal way to notify customers at short notice of service changes or weather warnings. If you want to be prepared for what’s in store this winter we’d love to hear from you.
Featured Image by Burak K from Pexels