How often do any of us pick up a phone to make a call anymore when we can just send a quick text instead? It’s no surprise that 292 million Americans—roughly 80 percent of the population—use text messages to communicate. In the age of instant communication, text messages are the norm. They’re fast, convenient, and easy.
To communicate with employees, software that allows you to send bulk text messages may seem like a great solution. After all, many businesses successfully use text messaging software to market to and stay connected with their customers. But when you need to communicate critical, time-sensitive information to employees, one-way text blasts just aren’t the way to go.
There are several forms of mass notification solutions on the market today, all with varying levels of sophistication, ease of use, and reliability. But when comparing text blast software to emergency communication software, only one is the right tool for critical employee communications.
Here are four reasons a simple mass-text blaster doesn’t cut it when it comes to keeping employees safe and informed:
Your audience may not get the message.
During critical events, minutes and even seconds matter. While simple text blasters can be unreliable when cell coverage is spotty or networks are congested, emergency communication software uses several mechanisms to safeguard message deliverability. One way is by using local phone numbers to ensure the reliable, speedy delivery of messages. And with a solution that automatically syncs with your HR system of record, your employee contact information will always be accurate.
When you rely on a single communication channel, you increase the likelihood of your audience not receiving the message. You need to use every channel available to you to ensure critical information gets to the right people quickly. To get employees the messages they need, when they need them, you need an emergency communication solution with multi-channel delivery. By communicating over multiple channels—including text, email, voice call, and mobile app—you don’t have to worry that your message will get lost in the shuffle.
You risk notification fatigue.
Does an employee in California really need to be alerted to weather updates about a winter storm passing through Boston? With a mass-text blaster, employees often receive far too many notifications—many of which aren’t even relevant to them. As a result, employees become desensitized to alerts and end up tuning out altogether. And when this happens, employees are far more likely to miss critical warnings that actually do impact them.
To avoid alert fatigue, your emergency notification system should allow you to send only relevant, targeted messages to employees. Custom data fields enable message personalization while dynamic groups allow you to easily segment your audience by location, department, work shift, or any other attribute. Event pages also help avoid unnecessary alert storms by providing a single online repository for everything related to a specific event.
You can’t keep a pulse on potential threats.
The world of work is shifting. Remote work is now mainstream. In the wake of COVID-19, a slew of companies—from Twitter to Slack to Shopify—have already announced employees can work from home permanently. The workforce is now more distributed than ever before. This brings new challenges for organizations that must proactively identify and mitigate threats to their business and employees. A basic text blaster gives you no insights into whether your remote or field-based employees are near an emerging threat. And how can you alert employees to potential threats if you don’t even know what threats they’re facing?
Critical events are typically location-specific, so you need an employee notification system with real-time location tracking and geofencing capabilities. This gives you visibility into where your employees are at any given time. It also allows you to quickly communicate with everyone in a certain geographical area. Kawasaki, for example, used AlertMedia’s geofencing capabilities to keep employees safe when wildfires raged across Southern California. A solution with local threat monitoring can also automatically monitor for threats around the world and calculate the proximity of those threats to your people.
You’re sending information into a black hole.
One-way text alerts are helpful in certain scenarios, such as when you want to alert your customers to an upcoming sale or new product. But when communicating with employees—especially during critical events—two-way dialogue is crucial. Without two-way communication, you’re essentially sending information into a black hole and hoping for the best. You don’t know if employees have questions, need help, or even received your message at all.
Unlike text blast software, emergency communication software includes audience feedback features such as read receipts, surveys, incoming messages, and delivery performance statistics. You can quickly conduct employee wellness checks and confirm which employees have received your message. When people don’t acknowledge receipt, you can automatically resend the message across multiple channels until delivery is confirmed. This can provide rapid visibility into which employees are safe and which employees may need assistance. Employees can also share helpful on-the-ground information about an event as it’s taking place to inform your emergency response efforts.
Selecting Fit-For-Purpose Mass Notification Software
A mass notification solution can improve employee safety and help you fulfill your organization’s duty of care. But only if you choose the right tool for the job. A basic text messaging solution may seem on the surface like a great tool to communicate with employees at a moment’s notice. Digging deeper, however, reveals why a text blaster is inadequate when it comes to critical communications.
Only a robust emergency communication solution offers the functionality, reliability, and usability needed to keep employees safe during critical events. And more features doesn’t mean more complexity. A good emergency communication solution is intuitive, easy to navigate, and can be implemented with little or no training. Using a simple text blaster to communicate with employees during critical events is like using a hammer when you need a screwdriver. It’s a valuable tool, but not the right tool for every situation. With an emergency communication solution, you can effectively monitor threats, enhance business resilience, and protect your people.
AlertMedia: A Comprehensive Emergency Communication Solution
Whether you’re reaching out to 100 or 100,000 people, standalone text messaging software isn’t enough to keep your people connected during critical events. You need emergency communication software with robust, modern functionality. It’s why companies across a range of industries—from Fortune 500 companies to small and mid-size organizations—turn to AlertMedia. With multi-channel, two-way communication capabilities—along with a responsive and experienced customer success team—AlertMedia keeps your workforce safe and informed when it matters most.