The COVID-19 pandemic has led to lockdowns across the world. Governments have imposed stringent security measures to control the spread of the virus. This includes social distancing measures, the use of masks, and other such restrictions. Organizations across the world are opening up slowly and trying to bring back customers to resume their business. Healthcare organizations need to take more steps since they not only need to address the concerns of their customers but also their own employees.
Employees working in a healthcare institution need to take extra precautions. They are exposed to patients who may be suffering from COVID-19. The slightest laxity in precautions can cause an infection to this deadly virus. Healthcare organizations need to communicate regularly with their employees to inform them of COVID-19 precautions and other information related to the pandemic, changed norms, etc. While there are different ways to communicate with employees, SMS marketing is an effective way of communication.
Why SMS marketing is an effective communication tool?
SMS marketing is the use of short message services to send information or communicate with people. While it is primarily used to communicate with customers, it can also be used to communicate with employees. The reason why SMS marketing is preferred are multi-fold:
- An SMS would be opened by the recipient within 3 minutes 97% of the time. This makes it a great tool for communication, whether with customers or staff.
- An SMS has a response rate of 45%, which means people who read the message will understand what it says and either respond or take action.
- Text messaging does not require internet connectivity. Anyone with a mobile phone, even a basic feature phone can send and receive messages. This makes it the most accessible form of communication.
- As compared to telephonic calls, text messages are preferred since they are non-intrusive. Taking a call would affect a person’s work, whereas a message can be read at the convenience of the recipient. This is why more than 86% people in a study preferred SMS for communication.
SMS for healthcare employees
A healthcare organization needs to communicate with its employees regularly. This needs to be done on a real-time basis considering the fact that we live in a pandemic time. There are lockdowns imposed by the government, restrictions on operations of businesses, norms for social distancing, norms for operating medical services, etc. These norms also may change from time to time. Apart from government norms, healthcare organizations may have their own norms specific to their operations.
They need to communicate all these norms to their employees. It is vital that every employee should be aware of government norms, precautions they are expected to follow, and the organization’s own rules. SMS can be used for this. This is how SMS marketing can be used to communicate with staff:
• A database of staff needs to be maintained with the names, departments, mobile numbers of the employees, shift working, and other such details.
• SMS marketing software is needed to easily send messages. Without the software, messages have to be sent on the mobile phone, which can be cumbersome if the organization has too many employees.
• The software can be used to send messages. A text message blast can be used to send the same message to everyone. Messages can even be filtered by sending only to employees of a certain department or those working in a particular shift.
• It is possible to even personalize the messages instead of sending a common message. Tags like the name of the employee, department, etc. can be included in the message. This ensures the message is customized for each employee separately.
• Regular reminder messages can be sent. These messages can be scheduled to be sent. Once the schedule is made, the message would go automatically. This ensures there is no manual work involved.
Priority areas for messaging to healthcare employees
The following are some of the areas where a healthcare organization can use messaging to communicate with their staff:
- Policies and norms followed by the company can be communicated. The policies can be listed or the link to a webpage sent.
- Newsletter with updates on COVID-19 with news and other information can be shared with employees. The newsletter can be sent through a message with web links.
- Feedback can be taken from employees using SMS. They can be asked to reply to the message to share their concerns, report problems, or suggest measures to strengthen the fight against COVID-19.
- Emergency messages such as lockdown alerts, changes in operating norms, etc. can be easily sent through SMS.
- Health tips can easily be communicated.
SMS marketing is a simple, easy, and convenient way to communicate with employees. For healthcare organizations, it can be very helpful in sending notices to employees related to COVID-19 norms.