Text and Truck Platooning Improve Freight and Fleet

With all of the changes in trucking, there's a common theme: communication. The focus is towards getting drivers, managers and other people in the system to communicate better with each other. One example of this is Volvo trucks' new uses of "truck platooning." No matter what the business vertical, the focus is connecting people to improve efficiencies. SMS text messaging plays an undeniable role.

In simple terms, a truck platoon is just trucks traveling together. The modern term means vehicles being automated and following each other as backup. This is another way "smart" systems better communication and add value for freight companies by keeping speed and fuel output consistent.

"Text integration is a priority to improve freight and fleet management."

Volvo's North American Marketing & Brand Management VP, Magnus Koeck, explained the way new vehicle systems are designed to help operations in a statement.

"Vehicle-to-vehicle communication is pivotal for platooning systems; it helps reduce the reaction time for braking and enables vehicles to follow closer," Koeck said. "Reducing the traveling distance between vehicles not only reduces the aerodynamic drag, but also allows for greater highway utilization, thereby helping to alleviate traffic congestion."

In compliment to that, interacting with drivers through automated dispatch operations and checkpoints integrated with text messaging improves freight and fleet management.

Truck platooning compliments journeyman systems by using text integration in dispatch platforms. The haulage industry continues to strive towards improved communication in all areas of their journeyman management. These better efficiencies improve response times and service.

Healthcare uses texting to help manage shifts

To keep patient care rates strong, you need to use staff well. It means filling shift openings fast and efficiently. Resource management is key. Your Staff Management System should be able to easily connect to a SMS Gateway.

All it needs is an Internet connection to integrate to a reliable SMS aggregator via a simple SMS API. Avoid connecting to SMS providers that do not provide Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that are reasonable in their price and their promise to reach recipients. Staff management in healthcare demands more than a best effort. You need a guarantee.

"The simplicity and timeliness of SMS is reshaping how hospitals communicate."

Part of the reason to use text messaging for shifts is the goal to always strive to improve patient experience.

However, in the US Quartz recently argued that the amount of different options means hospitals have to work hard to distinguish themselves. Because of this, the source recommended putting the focus on satisfaction, with technology a main part of the equation.

Regardless of if you are referring to healthcare in the US, or Canada, the key impact of texting is in automated shift management to help reach staff on time through the use of SMS Gateway services connecting into existing management platforms. Other areas noted are text alerts integrated into bed management, and prescription refill servicing in pharmacies. These are the main ways that text messaging through an SMS Gateway are servicing healthcare today.

Text messaging services are a part of other functions in the health care sphere too, where decision makers have to worry about security, added work and possible alert fatigue.

Check to see how your automated shift management platforms are contacting to your healthcare nurses and staff. Integrating them to a reliable SMS Gateway will allow you to take advantage of text messaging and use it in your hospital, or clinic today.

Recruiters reach candidates faster by text messaging.

Though there may be some uncertainty about the future of the jobs market, right now it seems like a bright one in both the USA and Canada. If you are a recruiter, or an employment agency, now is the time to act. Make sure it's just as bright for you, and get a jump on the competition! Reaching candidates via text messaging gives you an advantage.

In a recent press release, The Conference Board announced that its employment index is more than 3 percent higher than it was in March 2016. The rating, 131.39, is a sign that the jobs market is opening up, and is based on eight different factors; including job openings, sales and unemployment rates.

Progressive recruiting agencies see text messaging integration via connecting their client job database platforms into SMS Gateways to serve automated text alerts as a prime way to bring engagement up. Even legacy platforms that traditionally use email as the prime contact method are quickly migrating to text messaging.

"Even legacy platforms are quickly migrating to text messaging."

The Conference Board's Chief Economist Gad Levanon explained the index reflects other important signs of growth too; "It seems that higher business confidence is carrying over to hiring," he said. "As a result, in 2017 labor supply constraints will be strongly felt across many industries and locations."

This growth isn't the only thing for recruiting agencies to watch. SHRM said big data and the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in recruitment is appearing, affecting how business types search for candidates.

Your recruiting agency may also be under more pressure to track information, measure performance and incorporate different metrics into your platform in light of this.

An SMS service gives your employment services better responsiveness by reaching prospective candidates faster. By fitting seamlessly into your job database platform, a simple SMS API into a good SMS Gateway will allow you to stay in touch with both employers and job prospects in a relatable way. Even more importantly, the up-and-coming workforce may expect you to text them, so upgrading now will help you prepare.

What Can Business SMS Do For You?

Business, Institutions and Industry are continuing to add text messaging into their mobile communications strategy.

A good Business SMS strategy has many benefits

  • Cost Savings –How often does print material become stale because of a change in product, price, or other variables? Using text messaging as an alternative to print gives a flexible runtime without having to commit to the message for a long time.
  • Shorter Development Times – The simplicity of SMS is easier to do than using many other mediums, and is the quickest way to connect your business to mobile, because people text more than even phone, and developing an app is no guarantee that people will download it.
  • Improved Client Service – A good starting point is to migrate client service touch-points on email to text messaging. This improves response times and turn-around, because text messages are read and noticed, while email is far too easy to ignore.
  • Reduced Client No-Shows – If your business relies on client bookings, no-shows are a direct cost to your daily operations. Text messaging helps keep clients on time and reduce No-Shows.

Find a SMS Gateway that connects your desktop client software to text messaging easily and provides reasonable support when needed. Picking the right SMS Gateway will fast-track your integration. A flexible SMS API that provides choice in program language and good documentation is key. If you’re not a programmer, does the SMS provider have a solution for you too?

When choosing a SMS Gateway, two key factors are important

  1. Reach – Avoid SMS providers that have polluted their aggregation reach because of serving SPAM clients. They have damaged the quality of their service. If their messages do not get through, nothing else matters. Look for an SLA (Service Level Agreement) when choosing your SMS Gateway. Those with poor reach won’t give it.
  2. Support – Look for SMS providers that offer scalable support offerings at reasonable prices. Anyone can serve you when there are no problems. A superior service provider is one that is responsive and solves problems.

Financial Services SMS Are Trending

In the financial services industry, SMS is now serving alerts for employees, account holders and investors. It’s all about sending text messages when they are most needed. Banks internationally use SMS to validate client transactions, while in Canada collection agencies have been approved to use SMS to help reach debtors and produce better results with ethical and legal debt collection. Whether to fight fraud, get paid, or improve customer service, a reputable SMS messaging platform is a good tool to help achieve these goals.

Why Financial Services Companies Are Starting To Use SMS

Customers of financial institutions do not want to wait for notifications. If they are depositing money via a mobile app, they expect to receive a notification immediately. If fraud has been detected on their account, they need to be made aware as soon as possible. The timeliness of a SMS message is ideal for this. There are more reasons too.

People expect to be informed of changes that occur with their money in real time. Progressive banks and investment companies using an SMS API system to keep their customers in the loop concerning their funds and investments are showing increased customer satisfaction, according to The Financial Brand.

Here are few ways a properly integrated SMS API can function in a financial services system:

  • Fraud Alerts: According to Bankrate, 54 percent of banking app users have set up an unusual activity alert for their bank accounts. An SMS fraud alert can help customers take immediate action to protect their accounts and keep an eye on their financial health.
  • Market Activity: Investors can’t always keep their eyes on the stock market. It can be difficult to track sales of specific investments. SMS text messages can notify investors of market activity to help them make informed purchasing decisions. It can also come in handy in extreme circumstances, such as flights to liquidity, which can signal a credit crisis.
  • Transactions: Many customers conduct financial activity on mobile devices. They send money to friends via third-party apps, purchase financial assets, make contributions to investment accounts, deposit checks and more. Each time a transaction occurs, a properly integrate SMS Gateway via an API can send users notifications confirming activities.
  • Customer Service: A SMS API platform can reply to common questions with preset answers. Busy personnel shouldn’t need to be bothered by Interest rate and office hour inquiries.

How Financial Services and Customers Benefit From Text Alerts:

Consumers want SMS alerts from financial institutions they do business with. In fact, half of all financial services organizations used SMS messaging to stand out from competitors and improve customer service in 2015, according to Banking Exchange. By signing up for SMS text alerts, customers have greater peace of mind about the transactions they make and the safety of their bank accounts and investments.

The benefits of SMS messaging platforms extend internally, as well. Banks can effectively communicate with staff members in case of emergency. Likewise, internal communication via SMS is secure and instantaneous. It’s an easy solution to multiple pain points within the organization including; security, communication, customer service and engagement. That final point is key: Banks are starting to look more aggressively at ways to improve engagement beyond physical visits to branches. René Lacerte, a business payments expert writing for Forbes Magazine, noted that 86 percent of banks plan on investing in technology solutions that boost digital engagement. An SMS messaging platform meets that plan. Text messaging can help small and large financial institutions stay in touch with their customers wherever they are.

An SMS API connected to your services platform is also a common sense investment – The Pew Research Center reported that 95 percent of adult Americans have a cell phone capable of receiving SMS messages.

In 2017, mobile notifications are on the rise in banks and investment companies. Customers have greater expectations about being in the loop about everything that concerns their money. When choosing an SMS API, make sure you use an SMS Gateway that offers robust performance with reach and the flexibility to easily integrate with your financial services system.

Sources:
https://www.bankrate.com/finance/mobile/mobile-banking-alerts-everyone-should-activate.aspx
https://www.bankingexchange.com/news-feed/item/5657-ding-bank-text-message-use-still-growing
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2016/12/09/how-banks-are-rethinking-customer-engagement-in-the-digital-era/#21b0992546ee
https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile
https://thefinancialbrand.com/37919/mobile-banking-alerts-research-engagement

Real Estate makes a direct connection with SMS

Real estate in the United States and Canada are both facing changes, but whatever the changes are, it shouldn't impact customers' experiences. Text messaging integration via SMS API’s connecting to real estate listings and brokerages is helping to sell and buy homes.

Text messaging has made a direct connection to prospective buyers, proving to be invaluable in listings, despite very different dynamics in Canada and the USA.

In Canada, a record price increase in Vancouver and Toronto is feared to be driving home ownership out of reach of the average buyer. It’s causing bidding wars, and soaring inflation in the housing market with prices up more than 30% from the previous year.

Yet in the States, some real estate agents are finding it harder to reach buyers, because of inconsistencies in listing platforms between brokerages. The Denver Post reported on a dispute between two real estate-related entities that could affect the way the market in the area unfolds. Differences in listing data platforms is making decisions and the access to properties harder.

In both Canada and the United States, more burden is falling on the agents themselves, especially in the commercial sector, to ensure that online listings are accurate. This is due to a flurry of demand in Canada to get listings on the market due to a shortage of supply, and in the United States it’s due to a lack of compatibility between real estate listing platforms that can’t share data. Regardless, in both markets creating a better, easier way for buyers to search helps agents distinguish themselves and the services they offer.

The demands on brokerages to coordinate with multiple different systems as technology evolves is a constant challenge, beyond responding to market dynamics. Luckily the simplicity of plugging an SMS API into their listing platforms is making customer experiences better and easier. Using SMS services has made searching for a home simple. Prospective buyers can get an update on their preferred properties simply by texting a number for the right information while they drive by a property. This provides an instant validated lead to agents to respond to.

Texting helps car dealerships manage clients

 

For car dealerships, consistent contact with clients helps build good relationships. With the right SMS service connected into their Dealership Management Systems (DMS), dealers can improve client scheduling and improve profitability in their service department. This not only improves communications, but gives customers what they want. Because of this, businesses may stay one step ahead of their clientele, while getting a big improvement on their existing DMS platforms, providing they are connected to the right SMS Gateway.

An October 2014 Morpace Omnibus survey found nearly half of consumers were either “very” or “somewhat” interested in auto dealer text messages at 46 percent of the populace thinking this. While it’s a smaller figure than the 50 percent who indicated the same feelings in 2012, it represented a 4 percent increase from just one year earlier. This confirms that consumers in today’s market are consistently interested and open to auto dealer text messaging in the servicing of their automotive needs.

In addition, the source clarified that this included service updates under the wider banner of any kind of text message that could refer to an owner’s vehicle.

It’s true that messaging clients on their phones in and of itself won’t guarantee engagement. For that, a better bet may be to stay in regular contact and avoid the possible losses that could come with any communication problems.

An Auto Dealer Today article called phones a possible “profit leak” and particularly mentioned the importance of follow-up communications. Without these, car dealerships have a possible loss on their hands instead of a source of business. At the bottom of this, the desire is to keep appointments scheduled, leading to greater value added in the long run for clients and car dealerships too.

With customer-centric messaging, car dealerships can broaden their reach and bring clients to their appointments again and again. Swift SMS Gateway provides easily integrated solutions for anything that requires large-scale texting.

Will 2017 see new boundaries broken in text messaging?

Though 2017 has already begun, it will likely be some time before we know for certain what the future will hold for text messaging. However, there are still predictions from last year to draw from when thinking of the updates around the corner. No matter what actual changes appear, there's the chance for companies to get creative, as a Business 2 Community piece recently said.

One example given in the source was the way text messages were used to promote styles at New York Fashion Week. It comes with the similar claim that text messaging is set to increase in popularity, which certainly seems likely.

Another factor could be the need for constant exposure. This is already a factor in some campaigns and it could demand further contact at all times, especially when it comes to customer service. 

However, greater creativity may not mean large and visually extensive campaigns necessarily. Sometimes it can be as simple as changing the messages themselves to make a noticeable difference. Mashable, for example, said that the new year could raise the bar for what constitutes personalizing a message, with the texts themselves getting more tailored as businesses zero in on their audience for the most engaging effect.

This also pairs with the company's move away from the traditional marketing personas and demographics used to drive campaigns. Though all of these predictions seem to relate to marketing specifically, other businesses could use the same tactics no matter their industry, or at least try to broaden their reach for a more responsive populace.

At the foundation of this are the tools you need to make massive messaging work in the first place. The content of the message can change while the strong SMS practices are always there to build from.

Text Message Alerts on College Campuses

According to a new survey from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, roughly 74 percent of adults in the U.S. aged 18 to 44 get their news from their smartphones. As such, text message alerts can serve as an effective means to reach students on college campuses. Students spend so much time on their phones that it's likely they will see news and emergency notifications there before they get it from anywhere else.

Some colleges and universities across the country are already taking advantage of SMS services to communicate with student bodies. Here are a few ways educational institutions are communicating with students:

Weather Alerts

From heavy snow to severe storms, flash flooding or even tornado warnings, it's important for students and staff to be warned of dangerous weather conditions. Although predicting the weather isn't yet an exact science, SMS messaging can provide crucial insights for individuals who have to plan on getting to and from class. Moreover, extreme weather conditions have the potential to affect campus activities as well. If there is going to be any cancelation or delay as a result of inclement weather, students (and faculty) deserve to know about it.

Emergency Scenarios

"Dangerous events can occur anywhere at anytime."

Dangerous events can take place anywhere, at any time. In recent years, it seems as though a number of them have occurred on college campuses. As a result, universities are searching for ways to increase their campus security. That's where text message alerts come into play. If, for example, there is an attack by a student or staff member, text message alerts can notify other students, faculty and staff members immediately to limit the danger. Text updates provide students and staff with real-time information and ultimately make college campuses safer.

SMS And Call Centers?

Contact – or call – centers are always looking for ways to improve their communications with consumers. Due to the rise in popularity of cellphones, contact centers are beginning to turn to text messaging services to reach them. In addition to the sheer convenience of texting with consumers, SMS messaging has proven to be a more efficient line of communication.

That said, SMS capabilities often go overlooked in call centers because they are "call centers," as opposed to "text centers." Although the technology is not exactly a recent development, of course, it's only recently that SMS communications have become standard among consumers in recent years.

Preparing To Use Text Message Services At Call Centers

At this point, there is little doubt among professionals that SMS services will make their way into call centers soon enough. Now, the only thing that's left is to make sure the employees at such centers are ready to implement the new technology in their day-to-day activities.

To begin with, call center agents will need SMS training. Because texting is such a unique form of communication, customer service representatives may struggle (at first) when deciding when it's appropriate to use text rather than call a customer.

In the same vein, the infrastructure at customer service centers will have to be readjusted to account for the new SMS services.  Keeping all that in mind, SMS support in the contact center has the potential to significantly improve customer service.