Case Study on Texting
This gives another channel shift route and provides a drastically lower cost per transaction than face to ace or by telephone (El 7/E respectively) Current situation: We have an active SMS solution currently Installed that Is used for Internal communication only. It Is a web-based system hosted by a company called Sender. This has been set up to provide alerts to staff but we are only utilizing a fraction of the functionality In the system at present.
We pay a regular monthly fee to supply a set number of text messages that range in price from 8. P to 5. Up depending on the volume of use. There is a virtual number at present (+447781482709) which can receive incoming texts. The web-based system is similar in format to a basic email program with group messages, standard templates, signatures etc built in. There are no restrictions to prevent the system being used immediately to contact the public.
We currently have 10,000 SMS ‘in stock Proposal: We have the ability to swiftly (48 hrs) set up a short (5 digit) number plus keyword’s to send and receive text with the public.
The system can scale easily from a simple pilot program to an integrated (CRM, auto response etc) SMS solution with each Increase In service able to be built n top of the previous layer as functionality Is developed. A simple 5 digit shorted would make a dramatic difference to the amount of use of any services we provided to members of the public by being easier to remember and distinctly different from their other contact numbers. Phase II: Step 1: Very swiftly (3-4 days) we could activate a shared shorted + a Keyword SMS system (e. . 81622 + MBA – Alphanumeric-81 MBA) that customers could text us with simple questions (What color bin this week? What is the ACTA for Band B in Oxford’s? Etc).
Response to these questions would be undertaken by CSS. Capacity for administering this system would be provided by the slack created by the channel shift as It should result In fewer OFF and calls to CSS. Benefits: Low cost set up and maintenance. Little preparatory work required as response Is created by CSS representative.
Moves non- urgent low value interactions from a synchronous (telephone, Efface) format to an asynchronous solution wanly allows netter Ana easier management AT workload.
Synchronous process can only be reacted to as demand changes, asynchronous communications can be managed and planned for. Interaction via SMS is likely to deed low expertise response seeking generic information, it moves these low value calls to a cheaper route As it is a web based system it can utilities capacity at the quieter CSS sites without any additional steps built in and could be completed by reception staff with support by CSS representatives.
Costs: Option A: Setup of Shared SMS Shorted + Keyword Cost of messages (Volvo. Dependent) + Ell per keyword Example: 500 Messages + 1 Keyword EYE per month (min month contract) 1000 Messages + 1 Keyword EYE per month (min month contract) 2000 Messages + 1 Keyword IEEE per month (min month contract) Ell per additional Keyword These costs can be absorbed into the current contractual arrangement with Sender increasing actual costs by only Ell per month (plus messages) Option B: As above but system can be set-up so it is cost free for users.
A free text number (8-0800) plus keyword allows text to be sent free of charge by members of the public with MBA being charged for receiving the text. Prices are as above, but with the increased costs of a minimum of 2 texts per interaction with the customer.
Risks: Possibility of malicious abuse, but could filter out persistent offenders Advertising/communicating of numbers/codes can be developed through the website and the Mellon mail as well as public events and as a hold message for the contact centre.
Step II: An investigation into creating additional keywords and functions using the same shorted number to achieve two objectives; Gain business intelligence via a new route to better inform current and future objectives, and provide support and information to the public with a focus on the vulnerable and priority areas. Working with different services to develop easily administered schemes that fulfill one of the woo objectives.
Examples of functions that could be developed: Shorted: 80622 or 80800 etc Keyword: MBA Used for general enquiries; Council Tax, refuse collection, opening hours of tip etc, questions by members of the public. Managed by CSS, possibly with advertised agreement on response speed, guaranteed with 4 hours or late morning and late afternoon responses or response as soon as capacity is available (web based system so can be completed easily by any staff with capacity available at satellite sites/home workers etc).
Keyword: Abuse? Uses Tort vellums to get support Tort mostly souse.
Generic response Senegal through support numbers/contacts etc and asking if would like to be contacted for more support/help etc. Managed by S. E. D Keyword: Refuse + Postcode + House Number Automatically reply with bin collection day and color for the next few weeks Managed by CSS, initially, with automated response set-up eventually Keyword: ASP (pretext number as providing us a service) Reporting instances of anti- social behavior (location, time, culprit if known) to build up information of incidences and identify hotshots.
Managed by S. E.
D. Data can be collated and plotted onto GIS system Keyword: Youth (pretext number as children often have no/limited credit) This message could elicit an automatic response detailing youth activities in the next week/month etc, or as an opt in form for a regular information text/advertising for youth activities/sport activities in the area. Keyword: Affirmed/Wells/South (pretext number as providing us a service) For reporting community safety issues, graffiti etc for the individual estates to provide geographic support and segregation of issues.
Keyword: Fillip A picture message could be received of the fillip from the road side along with location details to aid the action of the site by clean-up crews.
The provision of some pretext options that provide support to priority neighborhoods and residents would help with social inclusion policy as well as providing us with business intelligence from our community. Costs: As above, Ell per month for each keyword + message numbers.
The two steps explained so far are around the receiving of messages from the public. We have already the ability to send out messages to improve processes in existing services. Example: Rents: All households with rent arrears can be sent the same message template gently reminding them to pay.
A log is kept of when each text is read (so we have confirmation of them receiving the message) and only if no response/payment is received then a follow up call is placed.
Benefits/Appointments: Before every benefits appointment a text can be sent to inform customer of all documents required and reminding them of the date and time of the meeting ensuring that the claim can be processed immediately without incurring further avoidable contact or wasting either the customer or staffs time. The customer keeps the text so has a written checklist before they come in as to what is required The unifies of this process in terms of first point issue resolution would be immediate, especially considering the number of appointments cancelled at present due to no show by the customer. Tepee Ill: Setting up an SMS API to integrate with our systems and poll our systems for data for automated responses etc. Various pitons Tanat can explored In greater pep Crinkles council developed a system called TEX specifically for local government that is available free of charge to local government institutions (part of project Nomad) and integrates with systems such as Northeast to provide automate responses, minders etc. Functionality built into the system allows automated set-up for members of the public wanting notifications on various topics sent to there phone, automated receipts when logging a complaint etc.
Costs: A product such as TEX is available free of charge to local government and implementation and integration costs would need to be calculated dependent on the degree of usage achieve during Step II. Other solutions are available but would involve some capital expenditure. Conclusion: Response from the customer access questionnaire was positive about this access out and would provide another option for customers to interact with the council. As over 80% of I-J citizens and over 90% of young people own a mobile phone, text messaging is becoming increasingly popular and usual mode of communication for all parts of the population.
Around 2 billion text messages are sent every week in the UK which is testament to its continuing use and popularity and its potential benefit as an efficient access route for the council.
Steps I are a relatively simple extension to the system we already have in place that can be easily built upon as the project is developed. They present few risks and a minimal outlay both in cost and contractual obligations (minimum 3 month contract) . They would serve as a useful test case to moving towards an automated service and the implementation costs that would then be required and provide data to Justify any further development.
The current costs of customer interaction (c. EYE for a face to face transaction and c. E for telephone transaction) Justify the minimal investment needed for the infrastructure.
The cost of administering the basic scheme (Step l: Customer Services) would be absorbed by the corresponding drop in telephone and face to face contact. Step II would be administered by the relevant departments wanting to participate in the scheme and would also serve to reduce the pressure on the contact centre.
Step Ill would require a time investment (support also available from external suppliers) but can be built upon Step II if further investment and functions were deemed necessary. This step only needs to be decided upon once data and feedback from the first two stages has been assessed. All steps can be built upon the previous stages so implementation of increased functions can be undertaken at any stage allowing the project to adapt and proceed at the most convenient pace.