A general term that includes both emergency and non-emergency communications, mass notification aims to improve communications within an organization, while protecting the lives of employees at the same time by providing information regarding emergencies and what they should do. The utilization of mass notification systems not only improves communication, but also lowers costs and increases productivity and revenues.
Do remember, however, that not all systems are created equal. Systems being offered today vary in price, user experience, functionality, and mode. When deciding on a provider, make sure that all the features included in a system satisfies all your requirements and fulfils all the communication needs of your company.
Whether you run a small or large organization, here are some of the factors that you need to keep in mind when searching through mass notification systems for the right one for you:
1. How fast a message is sent or a person is notified of delivery
Today, one of the most common and efficient ways of sending messages and notifications is through SMS or text messaging due to the fact that individuals are more likely to own a mobile phone. Ideal notification systems are able to deliver as much as 49,000 text messages under a minute.
In general, providers are able to send notifications in two ways – either through short code or email. While email is still a viable and efficient way to communicate, bulk sending can cause mobile carriers to look at messages as spam and either send them directly to trash or block them.
On the other hand, short code is the better alternative for sending SMS, especially because of its security features. Do remember, however, that short code can be shared, which means that several services can utilize the same phone numbers, thus decreasing the integrity of notification services. Therefore, opt for a provider that uses a dedicated short code for sending notifications and alerts.
2. Modes of delivery
Although text messaging is common and efficient, not everyone will be reachable through SMS all the time. Coverage is also a concern when it comes to message delivery.
Some organizations opt for basic mass notification systems instead of complex ones because they believe that complex systems may be difficult to figure out and may come out as expensive. When looking for a provider, do note that there are vendors who offer systems with multimodal communication features that are easy to use and are affordable.
3. Support from the vendor
Remember that systems must be easy to use, and should come with an adequate amount of support from the vendor before and after purchase. Make sure that the vendor you opt for does not only give you instructions on how to use the system, but also shares best practices and recommendations on how to get the most out of your system.
4. Experience of the vendor
Make sure that you opt for and invest in a provider that has been working in the industry for a significant amount of time. The vendor’s experience automatically tells you that the system provided will be efficient, effective and reliable; after all, it is an investment that is critical to you and the safety of all employees in the organization. The vendor and notification system you choose is vital to your company’s, your employees’ and your survival.