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The Future of Digital Messaging– Part 1/3
Tech UK 2015 – Seamless Communications
Last year, the Daily Mail, published an article about the cost of missed appointments to the NHS. The results were astonishing:
“61,000 patients a day miss their GP appointment: Lost time costs NHS £300million and is equivalent to a year’s work for 1,300 doctors. The latest research suggests tens of thousands of appointments could be freed up every day if patients who were not going to use them phoned up to cancel.” – Daily Mail Online
Now we have all been guilty of forgetting to phone up and cancel appointments with the doctor. And as a result, we are starting to see more text reminders the day before an appointment, and the option to phone in to cancel.
Most services use CRM type systems to do this for them and it has seen a significant reduction in missed appointments already, not to mention less time on the phone for staff members.
But is there a better solution? What if you chose to engage with patients one step further in this situation? To start with, what if the patient failed to respond, and you could escalate your reminder to email, voice message, or app, automatically? What if, when they cancelled their appointment, your system could send back an automated message offering them the chance to rearrange that appointment? And even better, what if your system sent a message out to the group of patients on the waiting list, notifying and offering them the opportunity to fill the newly opened slot on a first come first serve basis?
Well, there are commercial solutions out there today that solve these problems, however not one of these offers a seamless digital messaging experience.
What do we mean by seamless in the context of digital messaging? It is the ability to automatically transition between different communication channels based on workflow requirements and recipient behaviour, and dynamically select communication channels based on end user preference.
Currently, the standard solution in the SMS industry is a one-message-in-one-message-out solution. However, this impedes further development of automated solutions across digital messaging, as if multiple messages are sent, and the recipient does not reply in the order they were received, the application is broken.
By introducing intelligent 2way threaded messaging, Boomerang’s core IP, and providing the capability to match multiple outbound messages with the corresponding inbound messages, regardless of quantity and order, the core issue for automating SMS has been resolved, and as a result allowed automation to extend through all digital messaging channels. An application can now engage in several simultaneous exchanges with a recipient, without placing the onus on the recipient to respond to each message in the required order, to keep a process moving seamlessly.
Not only does intelligent 2way messaging empower an organisation to automate everyday communication processes, it enriches customer experience, it helps future proof technology, and it substantially reduces overheads by taking human intervention out of the equation and managing situations by exception. Furthermore, by using SMS as the lowest common denominator for communication, this solution is especially impactful in a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment, where you are not in control of the user group devices, as you are effectively making a GSM handset an extension of the business system.
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