When we were planning PARiM staff management we wanted the core values or underlying principles to be:
simplicity — ease of use — visibility — communication
We wanted the system to allow the users to work smarter and put everyone on the same page in real time wherever they were!
We wanted to:
- Make things clear and easy to understand at a glance
- Automate as much of it as possible
- Give the ability to send shift or schedule information/ changes to multiple staff with one click
- Allow flexibility and tailoring of an organisation’s messages to staff
- Create a great audit trail so that management can see what's happening within the system and also see whether notifications have been read
(We pretty much also use these criteria when we are looking for a system or program to help us run the company as well.)
How do we make absolutely sure staff had read their messages?
However, in terms of messaging and communicating, we felt there was something missing or what we had wasn’t enough!
How do we make absolutely sure AS MANY STAFF AS POSSIBLE had read their messages, understood and knew their work schedule, confirmed they could work or knew that there was work they could apply for?
It occurred to us that however beautifully designed, however easy to use, however beneficial to an individual staff member in terms of visibility and ease of access of work schedule, timesheets and absence/ holiday management some people don’t want to login to the portal or read emails about work!
So, how do we allow an organisation to tell them about their shifts, weekly rota and clock in/ out?
The answer is, of course, by text/ SMS.
So we integrated Twilio into PARiM to allow the sending of information by text and our users love it!
Our next version will also allow some SMS interaction and response recording between the company and staff, in terms of shift and schedule reminders and checking that they are going to be turning up for their shifts.
So why did we choose SMS/ Text integration?
Well here are 7 reasons why we did and why using SMS is a good thing!
1 SMS/ Texting is cheap and cost effective SMS Marketing is relatively cheap and affordable. Its only pence or cents per message and there is a good chance that over time and volume the costs will decrease.
2 Message Delivered by email can get caught up in a spam or junk filter or an “other” box. So this can be a bit of a lottery whereas when you send a text message shift change or weekly rota its there in seconds!
3 Open Rates are MUCH higher Research says that emails are on average only opened up to 25% of the time, whereas text messages have opening rates of above 95% and 90% of these text messages are read within 4 minutes! That’s why they are now also being used for marketing
4 Concise and to the point in a similar way to Tweets (140 characters) a text message can be a maximum of 160 characters. What does this mean? Well, it means you need to get your point or message over in a concise and “to the point” manner. The fact that users know a text message has to be short and concise encourages users to read them! Hence the high open rate.
5 Convenience most adults/ workers always have their mobile phones to hand
6 Smart phone vs Non smart phone Not everyone has a smart phone – it may happens BUT it hasn’t yet and so if you need to make sure your message/ shift change is read – use TEXT. 92% of adults in the UK own a mobile phone.
7 Text Messaging fits our paperless aims and is green As with our paperless timesheets and staff management/ rota system text messaging is digital and therefore ticks the eco friendly/ green box!
And finally Some more interesting/ alarming facts about SMS/ Texting :-
- Its 20 years since the first text was sent.
- The UK average consumer sends around 200 texts per month and some daughters, many, many more!
- More than 150 billion text messages were sent in 2011
- More than 58% of UK adults use text messages at least once a day to communicate with family
Don’t take my word for it! Just research the amount of money spent by individuals and companies on SMS/ Text message!
Many large organisations use texts! Indeed, I get reminders of dentist, doctors and hospital appointments by text now!