Crisis communication management via SMS message
Why in the era of ubiquitous messengers and social media, brands prefer to send the most critical updates via SMS? The old standard of text messages helps public institutions, offices, and companies to effectively communicate safety and health matters. Its huge advantage is immediate, direct access, without the need for an Internet connection or application installation. Discover the applications of SMS in times of limited travel, closed stores, and remote work.
The dynamically changing situation in the countries has forced the authorities to develop a method to reach the largest possible group of citizens. Due to the wide coverage of mobile phones and low entry barriers, a text message was chosen for the task. Thanks to the use of additional functionalities, the standard has become an integral part of the communication. It’s widely used by the authorities of Norway and Poland.
For example, Polish citizens returning from abroad receive a message with a link to safety instructions and what to do if symptoms of coronavirus occur. This was possible due to the use of geolocation of devices appearing at airports.
Like many other city councils in Poland, the city of Katowice uses bulk SMS messages to send information and recommendations on COVID-19. Messages about the health of residents are simply far too urgent and important to risk the failure of delivery. Shortened links allow extending 160 characters with additional content. This is not the first time they’re reaching for text messages in their communication with the citizens. The KISS system (Katowice Information SMS Service) – has been operating for several years now.
The Polish Ministry of Digital Affairs has also published the Home quarantine application for home-locked citizens. Its purpose is to relieve the security services responsible for controlling those quarantined. Instead of a home visit, the user will receive an SMS asking to send a selfie photo from home.
Norwegian Dictatorate of Health decided to send important SMS messages to anyone over 18 about the coronavirus spread and status. They wanted a channel they knew they could reach every citizen with. The government advises how to deal with the situation and encourages the recipients to follow the recommendations of the authorities.
Advantages of SMS in times of public danger
- high deliverability: SMS are received by any phone, even without an Internet connection, which is why they work so well as a method of communication with every age group, including the elderly ones
- speed of campaign preparation: account registartion and setup takes a few minutes, and sending messages to a selected database is instantaneous, that’s why you can send important information immediately
- speed of reaction: the majority of messages are read within the first 5 minutes
- reliability: all SMS sender names are verified
Crisis management via SMS in business
Restrictions on stationary trade have forced the transition to online sales. Consequently, lowered customer mobility reduces the effectiveness of classic advertising channels, e.g. outdoor, press. In order to encourage purchases on websites, companies turned to the proven mobile communication channel – text messages. In addition to e-mails and social media, they are the basic methods of reaching users of mobile devices. Unlike the others though, they are sent directly to the customer’s phone number. It makes them extremely effective in urgent situations that require immediate action.
This use is extremely useful for small businesses and companies depending on bookings and reservations. A quick message will let your employees and customers know about the cancelation, postponing of the meeting and all other important changes in the schedule.
Expert’s statement – education
Early Stage is an English language school for kids and teenagers teaching 33 thousands of students. Fluid and unhindered communication with parents is extremely important to us – even more now in times of nationwide quarantine. The decision to close schools has caused a lot of confusion, that’s why we wanted to keep our customers updated with reliable information. In just a couple of days, we have managed to switch to remote learning. In the beginning, running courses online was challenging, both in terms of communication and their practical organization.
The majority of our franchisees decided to back their e-mail communication with bulk SMS using platforms like SMSAPI. The solution makes the flow of information more efficient. Furthermore, it gives certainty that messages will be read on time. In most cases, we ask to confirm the delivery, and then contact only those who have done so. It makes the communication easier, it saves time during everyday situations and urgent ones requiring quick action, for example canceled classes.
The feature of SMSAPI we find particularly helpful is the easy grouping of the receivers accordingly to their course level. The choice between an information-oriented message or a conversation with the customer allows for even greater control over the communication. An SMS sent with the „EARLY STAGE” sender name, instead of a random telephone number, provides the messages with credibility and boosts the brand’s image.
Expert’s statement – apartment rental
Today’s situation related to the coronavirus calls for a quick communication solution. This is very important, especially since everyone uses the phone. To this end, we use an integrated system that supports customer contact.
When running a property administration company, we want to provide our clients with important information about events that occur on the premises. We send SMS with information about matters such as building inspection, housing community meetings, breakdowns and interruptions in the supply of utilities. Thanks to this, our clients are constantly informed about e.g. planned shutdown of water supply. By the way, we also use text messages for internal communication.
We tried many solutions, but they did not cope with the scope of our communication. An offer made by SMSAPI turned out to be perfect for us. Of course, the cost of the services and the fact that we could adapt the solution and price to our needs were not without significance.
SMS in critical situations – use cases:
- public authorities and institutions: warnings, threat notifications, safety recommendations, news, information on the availability of online services
- hospitals and medical facilities: recommendations and good practices, links to safety procedures, navigation to the nearest facilities
- e-commerce: reminder message about the availability, online shopping encouragement, notification about the changes in delivery
- retail: information about the closure of the store, notification of the new business hours, encouragement to order online, customer servic
- education and language schools: information about online courses, schedule of e-learning
- events: information about cancellation, new date notification
How to send an SMS to the customer?
Launching the SMS communication as an effective crisis communication channel is quick and easy. What’s more, you can set up a free SMSAPI account by yourself in just a few minutes.
For the needs of building a contact database for SMS campaigns, we have prepared a tool that will facilitate the subscription of new users. Newsletter SMS will do well on the websites or in your company’s e-mails, social media, and it’s GDPR-compliant. If you’d like to learn more about creating databases, read our blog post: 3 simple steps to create a unique consumer database for your SMS marketing campaigns.