BUSINESS CASE STUDIES
Manage your casual staff with a SMS Blast
Client A runs a business setting up stage for live performances. The schedule of shows is irregular. To manage this, Client A has a list of casual workers they can call upon from time to time to fill various stage crew jobs. Client A maintains a list mobile numbers for each casual who can potentially fill each job. When a show is scheduled, Client A sends out an SMS broadcast to each list to fill the required jobs. The SMS might say: “Stage hand required 4 Brisbane show on 10 Oct. Please respond 2 Steve if interested. First in, best dressed!” This approach avoids the lengthy process of phone calls (and leaving messages) that happened previously. After an hour or two when the responses have come in, Client A selects the candidates to fill each job and sends them an SMS advising them that they got the job. The unsuccessful candidates get an SMS advising the jobs have been filled and that they will be contacted on the next occasion. The process is quick and easy. The casuals have become used to the process and generally view it as a fair approach.
Patient reminders with SMS/Voice
Client B is a group of doctors who run a suburban medical surgery. To reduce “no shows”, each day the receptionist loads a list of patients who have previously booked for appointments tomorrow. If the surgery has a mobile number, then an SMS is sent to the patient reminding them of the appointment. If the patient does not have a mobile phone, then a voice message is sent to their number reminding them of the appointment. This has reduced the “no shows” from 15% each day to less than 5%.
Delivery ETA via SMS
Client C has a fleet of trucks that deliver perishable goods to customers. Because of the nature of the stock, it is important that customers are present to receive the goods. To ensure there is no confusion of the time of the expected delivery, Client C sends an SMS to the customers each morning with a summary of the goods to be delivered that day and the estimated time of arrival. As well, when there is an overstock of goods, Client C is motivated to move the stock out as quickly as possible. To do this, an SMS blast is sent to customers making on the spot offers at reduced prices to move the goods out. This overall approach has reduced the amount of perished stock by 40%.
Client D sends out 500 invoices to customers each month. The cost of sending these invoices, including printing, envelopes, and postage is over 70 cents each, not counting the labour involved. Instead Client D now has a template of the invoice form already set up and just downloads an excel spreadsheet at the end of each month with the billing data “customer name, address, list of transactions, amount owing, etc.” The data is merged with the billing template and the invoices are faxed to the customers. This has reduced billing costs by more than 70%. And the invoices get to the customers quicker, thereby allowing payments to be made quicker!
Pizza via SMS
Client E runs a pizza restaurant. There is a form at the counter for customers to fill out to “register” and go into a draw for a free pizza each week. In the form, the customers also give permission to be contacted. At strategic times (eg during a footy game), Client E sends out a 2-way SMS blast suggesting “Hungry 4 a pizza? SMS back with what you want and we’ll deliver it straight 2 U!”. So customers SMS back their order and the orders appear on the screen on the computer in the restaurant. The Client cooks the pizzas. When they are ready to be delivered, Client C sends an SMS back to the customer advising “Pizza on the way. Have $22.00 ready 4 the driver. Thanks & enjoy yr food!”. Pizza orders soared during the footy games!
Client F is a manufacturer of specialized products for veterinary surgeries. Client F used to receive orders from surgeries by receiving calls for the products that were needed at the time. Now, each month Client F faxes out to their customers an “order form” for restock, including “specials” each month. The surgery then faxes back the completed order form and Client F then fills the order and ships the goods to the veterinary. This approach resulted in a sales increase of over 25%.
Encourage returning customers
Client G is a hairdresser. Each weekend, Client G goes through their appointment book to check for customers who have not been in for the past 6 weeks. Then on Monday morning, they send personalized SMS’s to these clients with a message eg “Hi Dave! Been 6 weeks since weve seen U at XYZ Hair Cut. Wanna look sharp again? SMS back date/time U want & we’ll get back 2 U asap 2 confirm. Cheers! Kathy”. This approach has increased appointment bookings by 30%.
Client systems alerts
Client H provides internet service to customers. When the service goes down, Client H sends an SMS to customers advising them that the service is temporarily down and when to expect it to be restored. Customers rarely need to ring Client H anymore to advise of outages. This has resulted in much higher customer satisfaction. Although service outages are unavoidable at times, advising customers of the fact has contributed to a reduction in the “churn” of customers leaving the service by over 20%.
High speed tender via SMS
Client I is a commodity broker for agricultural products. When a customer (buyer) calls Client I for a delivery (eg 100 tons of soybeans to Shanghai), the broker sends an SMS to the farmers for this product, asking for price, delivery date, and quality grade. Effectively running a “tender by SMS”. Responses are due in 20 minutes. Once the responses are in, the broker sends a response SMS to the winner: “Your offer is accepted. Paperwork in the post tonight. Congratulations!”. The other farmers get an SMS: “Thanks for your offer, but another one has been accepted. We will contact you for the next sales opportunity.” This ability of Client I to respond to their customer quickly has driven up sales substantially. As a secondary service, Client I sends out by fax to the farmers regular updates on global pricing and trends.
Client J is a major political party. It is in their interest to maximize media coverage to ensure the public is aware of their actions and position on key issues. Another objective is to discredit the opposition political party. Client J puts out about 2 press releases each day to radio, television and newspapers to attempt to sway public opinion to their position.
Client K is a manufacturing organization that employs thousands of staff in key centres around the country. The organization uses the media to make the public aware of key events in the company: publishing quarterly results, release of new products, etc. Another objective of media campaigns is to influence the public and government towards taxation and other assistance for their industry. Changes in foreign exchange rates, consumer saving, and other factors have contributed to declines in sales. So media is used to show why it is in the interest of the state to support the company, and thereby maintain employment of the staff.
Client L has an inbound SMS number that is displayed on advertisements for its services. Ads appear in newspapers, letter box drops, public posters and billboards. The call to action in these advertisements is three fold: ring a number, go to a web site, and sms into the dedicated inbound SMS number. Inbound SMS’ing has become the key response to the call to action now. The reason being is convenience. It is the simplest and quickest way to get an interested reader to respond of the three response methods.