5 Steps To The Best Emergency Notification Software Implementation
Communications Aug 23, 2018

5 Steps To The Best Emergency Notification Software Implementation

The best emergency notification software should be implemented quickly, including integrations and training. Follow these 5 tips for a painless integration.

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The Key to Finding the Right Mass Notification Software Solution

Purchasing new enterprise software involves multiple steps including a needs assessment, budget allocation, vetting, contract negotiations, and finally, the purchase. However, determining if a potential solution is the right fit goes beyond requirements and budget. You may have the best emergency notification software, but without proper implementation you might as well be using tin cans and string. One of the biggest indicators of viability is how easy the software is to implement. No matter how sleek the solution, if it’s difficult to implement, it will impact adoption and ROI.

When choosing the best emergency notification software for your organization, a smooth implementation will ensure your investment is usable within days, if not hours. Follow these simple steps to gain peace of mind that the notification software you select will deliver its intended value.

Implement the Best Emergency Notification Software in 5 Steps

Not all users of mass notification software are technical. Therefore, the implementation shouldn’t require specialized skills or hired consultants. A person with minimal technical expertise should be able to get the solution up and running with relative ease. The provider should offer support and guidance if needed every step of the way.

Step 1: Connect with your customer success manager

Once you select a provider for your emergency notification software, you should be provided with a customer success manager who is dedicated to supporting your implementation. They can answer questions and address your needs throughout the implementation process and beyond. This person should also ensure it is fulfilling your needs as your company starts using the software.

One of the first things your customer success manager should do is help you in adding all of your people to your new employee communication software. They will also likely offer to assist you in setting up your groups. These groups are the various departments or work units you need to segment to more accurately target your messages. Your customer success manager should help you through every step of this process.

Step 2: Clean up your data and add people to your system

The key to effectively using mass notification software is having complete and accurate data for all of your people. Whether uploading your employee data directly into your chosen software or relying on integration with your HR system/active directory, prioritize your efforts to gather and clean up all of your employee data before working on system setup. This way you’ll add the most reliable data as you move to the next step of the process. Validating your data is perhaps the most time-consuming part of the process, but also the most critical. Some companies take this opportunity to confirm employee information with both HR and employees themselves.

On top of accuracy, you also want to ensure your employee data is formatted correctly if you plan to upload your data directly into the system. Your software provider should provide you with a CSV template to make adding new employee data easy. Your customer success manager should also be available to help you add your people to the system via CSV. If you choose to add your people by integrating with your existing system of record instead of manually adding them with a CSV, you should plan your integrations carefully before moving on with any other system setup.

Step 3: Plan your integrations

If you plan to use integrations to add your people to your mass notification software, or if you plan to set up custom channels, you should prioritize this before any other system setup.

The first integration you focus on should be with your HR systems or active directory providers. This is a key integration as it pulls current employee data into your new notification system automatically, reducing the manual efforts that often cause headaches. Every employee has multiple fields of data. The more of this data that can automatically update in your notification solution, the less risk for critical errors that can result in employees missing important messages and alerts.

The second integration will be with various communication channels, such as your company’s social media platforms and custom channels. If your company utilizes channels outside of the general channels (phone, email, SMS text, push notifications, etc.), you want to be sure they are integrated into the new system.

Step 4: Train your key personnel

The best emergency notification software providers will provide system training, facilitated by your customer success manager. They will be able to train both you and any administrators assigned to manage or use the software. Leverage the expertise of your customer success manager to train everyone rapidly so they become early adopters and champions.

Determine who in your organization will be using the emergency notification software. You must train each of these people on how to use the system. Admins and users must be comfortable using all of its features at a moment’s notice. Your customer success manager can assist you in developing a training plan that you can repeat as needed.

Your customer success manager should update you and your team with every software update. In addition, he or she should provide training on these updates and any new features. The best emergency notification vendors will offer online help resources to ensure that key personnel can read further into system features at any time.

Step 5: Announce the solution to your people

Everyone in your organization, from administrators of the software to the employees who may receive a notification at any point, needs to understand that the system is in place, why it’s important to them, and what they can expect. Not only will your employees appreciate the efforts your company is making to protect them, but they will know what to do and where to get information should an emergency arise.

The first communication can come via email, announcing the new emergency notification system. The next message should come directly from the system itself so they can see firsthand how the software works. The more familiar they are with the technology, the more easily they will adopt it. They may need to sign up for notifications and subscribe to texts. Be sure to give them your provider’s name and instructions for registration if necessary. Getting your employees comfortable with the system will bring them the peace of mind the software was intended to provide.

You’ve taken a huge step in protecting your employees and company. Be sure your emergency notification system is implemented the right way for maximum results and adoption. Luckily the best emergency notification software also comes with the best support!

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