Delays and service interruptions happen. But has your public transport company considered this simple trick to keep travellers satisfied?
With the RMT union announcing plans for industrial action against the rail company this bank holiday, it got me thinking: how many travellers will know about this?
As a commuter, I can understand and appreciate that service interruptions happen. However, had I have known that my train or bus was going to be delayed or cancelled, I could have spent five more minutes sorting out my messy barnet!
Joking aside, there is a simple and cost-effective messaging solution which only 42.9% of public transport companies are using.
Keeping your customers in the loop
We all know communication is the key to any successful company in the public transport sector. And that starts with SMS.
Yet, I was shocked to discover in the Mobile for marketing agencies white paper that a staggering 57.1% of travel businesses are choosing not to use the UK’s fastest growing marketing channel. But why?
Perhaps it’s down to the hype around apps and push notifications. However, with 16.1 million people still using featurephones and the creation of a complex app costing in excess of £50k, they leave a lot to be desired.
On the other hand, text messaging is instant and affordable.
What makes business SMS so effective?
Well, it’s a number of things. Firstly, 98% of text messages are opened and 90% of those are usually read within the first three minutes. As a passenger waiting for a bus, train or taxi, what do we usually do when there’s a delay? We look at our phones.
One message can completely transform a customer’s experience with you. Sure, it’s not going to eradicate every angry passenger, but it will stop an influx of complaints via social media and a surge to the information desk.
Unlike apps, passengers aren’t required to download anything and don’t need to rely on 4G or Wi-Fi to receive a notification.
You can even turn negative news into something positive by using SMS ticketing. For instance, you could send customers a discounted voucher off hot drinks to make their wait a lot more tolerable.
Build your mobile database
If you’re completely new to SMS marketing and alerts, building a database of contacts should be relatively easy in the public transport sector.
Using a SMS short code and keyword, you can offer commuters the opportunity to receive timely service updates. Bus operators, Southdown PSV Ltd, are a perfect example. Previously, their telephones were constantly ringing when a bus was delayed. But by advertising a SMS short code and keyword at bus stops and on the vehicle itself, customers were able to opt-in for specific route notifications.
As a result, Southdown PSV saw a huge reduction in irate customers and were able to focus their time on other aspects of the business.
Give our award-winning SMS platform a go
Be prepared for any future disruptions or delays by signing up for a free Textlocal account today. Our team can guide you through the system and get you up and running in the matter of minutes.