The world is currently experiencing a major health crisis due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Across North America and around the world, governments and health authorities are taking unprecedented measures to limit the spread of the virus. Non-essential businesses and enterprises are being closed. People are being encouraged or sometimes even forced to stay at home and work remotely when possible. Visits to the elderly or frail are being strongly discouraged. And the list goes on.
In this rapidly changing situation, public health officials strongly recommend that services be provided with as little contact between individuals as possible. As a result, companies and businesses that are still in activity must reinvent the way they manage their operations and they must react quickly.
Communicating during a crisis is crucial, but communicating well is just as important. This is as true for governments that communicate with the public as it is for businesses that need to communicate with their employees, partners and customers to maintain operations. This is precisely where business text messaging can play a major role.
This article explains how text messaging for businesses can help during a crisis.
Protecting the health of their employees, partners, customers and the community is one of the top priorities for businesses during a health crisis.
What does this have to do with SMS communication? Text messaging allows individuals and groups of individuals to be reached quickly, with the right message and at the right time.
In this context of the current pandemic, sending alerts or important information is necessary. In the event that one of your employees is diagnosed with the virus, it is essential to notify all your employees immediately and make sure you reach all of them as quickly as possible. It is your duty to inform and reassure them by explaining the measures you are putting in place to protect their health and that of their loved ones. Given that 97% of North American adults are texting, SMS communication appears to be an excellent way to reach a maximum number of people in a minimum amount of time.
Furthermore, if you have to close your business or a facility, it is necessary to inform your customers and partners as quickly as possible. Once again, communication by text message allows you to reach them quickly. Did you know that business texting has a high success rate? In fact, 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes following their receipt. What’s more: their open rate exceeds 90%.
Businesses and enterprises can send targeted offers to their customers. For example, a business that offers ready-made food can send its customers a link to its online store or to a special promotion. It can also advertise a home delivery service. A car dealership, on the other hand, may offer a service to pick up the vehicle from the customer's home or promote a cleaning service for the vehicle’s interior once it has been serviced or repaired.
It's all a question of relevance and timing.
The use of an intelligent text messaging communication platform makes it possible to form groups of individuals and send them—at the right time—product or service offers adapted to their profiles, past purchases or specific events.
If you had scheduled appointments, you have certainly seen the majority of them cancelled or rescheduled. These include non-urgent appointments with dentists, beauticians, massage therapists, hairdressers, and many others. However, there are some appointments that need to be maintained. To avoid people forgetting them or thinking that they are de facto cancelled, it is important for businesses to send confirmations to their customers. The best way to ensure that the message is read is to send it by text message.
In other fields, many businesses, especially those in the agrifood sector and food supply chain, such as flour mills, convenience store chains and food stores, can use text messaging to communicate with their customers and carriers. For example, a wholesaler can notify its customers by text message of the imminent arrival of a delivery truck and advise its carrier of the measures put in place by the customer to limit contact as well as the procedure to be followed.
Text message communication allows you to exchange documents, multimedia files and even make contactless payments simply by using your smartphone.
In a context where people avoid as much as possible coming into contact with individuals and surfaces such as payment terminal keypads or cash, all contactless payment methods are preferred. However, when the authorized limit is reached, for example $100 in Quebec, contactless credit cards can no longer be used without physical interaction with a payment terminal. In contrast, mobile payment remains an option that does not require any contact with these terminals. To learn more about mobile payment, read the article Mobile Payment Terms and Concepts Explained.
You can thus simplify and secure your customers' payment experience by sending payment requests by SMS and offer them the possibility to consult and pay their invoices from their own mobile phone without touching your payment terminals.
For more information you can download our free guide: Setting up Mobile Payments with Kimoby Pay.
In these difficult times, many have temporarily lost their jobs because their employers have gone out of business or temporarily shut down. This is the case for many restaurants and businesses deemed non-essential. On the other hand, some businesses have seen their operations grow as well as their need for qualified personnel. This is particularly the case for food businesses that need staff in distribution centres and at points of sale. Reaching and recruiting temporary and long-term employees in the context of a health crisis is challenging, but no less important. Businesses with a database of candidates can quickly and efficiently send job offers by text message and schedule interviews either in person or by video conference. All communications during the recruitment process can be done via text messaging. For more information, download the free infographic: Texting Employees from Start to Finish.
Businesses that manage employees on a shift basis must be able to quickly contact them to notify them that they are about to start their shift or that a time slot is available and must be filled. Examples include grocery stores, post offices and security or healthcare services.
For example, let's consider retirement homes and long-term assisted living facilities for seniors. Residents are in isolation to prevent the spread of the virus in their living environment. Since contact between residents and their families is no longer permitted, facilities equipped with a text messaging platform can communicate with families and send photos and videos of their loved ones directly by text message. Families and legal representatives therefore remain informed and connected to the residents. Some innovative homes even use SMS messages to book appointments with families for a video conference with their loved one, thereby breaking down their isolation during this critical time.
Let’s use the example of retirement homes once again. Families are worried and keep communicating with the staff members to find out about their relatives. Employees who work on different floors or buildings are increasingly contacted by families who are concerned about residents. However, they can communicate with each other by adding internal notes to an ongoing text message conversation. This means that an employee who receives questions from families can, in turn, contact the employee in charge of the resident who will answer her colleague. In this way, she will be able to reassure or inform the family quickly. The use of a platform, such as Kimoby, speeds up communication within the team and families. It also accelerates the work being carried out by colleagues.
Text messaging communication during a health crisis therefore allows teams to collaborate more effectively and efficiently.
The effectiveness and performance of text messaging communication during a crisis is well-known. However, if you still have doubts about its effectiveness, read article 5 Great Arguments in Favor of Text Messaging for Business.
Kimoby offers a text and multimedia messaging platform that helps businesses and organizations communicate instantly with their audiences and enables their teams to collaborate better.
Kimoby teams up with you to actively help you maintain your operations during this critical time.
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