There is no denying that text messaging has become the preferred way to communicate, taking the place of making direct contact phone calls. People are quick to decline a phone call, but it is estimated that 97% of text messages are opened and read within minutes of being opened. Real estate agents have a great opportunity to take advantage of the convenience of text messaging to help close on more sales.
Text messaging your realty clients will be simple if you sign on with an automated text messaging service. These work online, with no extra installations to worry about. With a company like DialMyCalls, you can register a unique keyword for your real estate listings and begin collecting opt-ins.
Potential clients can text your unique SMS keyword to 80123 which will automatically add them to your contact list within DialMyCalls - you can have the text message opt-in information on the "For Sale" signs located at your listings. When you want to send out text messages, you only need to pull up those contacts and the message is automatically sent.
Keeping Your Real Estate Clients Up to Date
With quick text messages to your clients letting them know about a new listing, or how their offer went over, you are showing that you value their needs without it taking too much time out of your day. Real estate clients are stressed, and will appreciate knowing that you are hard at work for them.
The mass communication feature can be used when you have an upcoming open house that various real estate clients may be interested in. This simplifies the process of having to call a number of different people to give the details to. With a single text message you can have the location, date and time and even add directions if necessary, and have that sent to all of your clients in just a few minutes. Not only are your buyers given up-to-date information on homes they may be interested in, but your sellers will be impressed with the amount of effort you put in to having their house viewed.
Another way in which mass text messaging will help your sellers is if they change the asking price or make an improvement on the property. You could then contact all of the agents that you know showed the listing to their clients, so that they in turn could pass that information on to any that had shown an interest.
Using text messaging will streamline your daily tasks and make it easier to keep track of who you have touched base with that day. Rather than missed calls and waiting for clients to return your call, you have the peace of mind in knowing that they are up to speed with how things are going. With this faster and more efficient means of communication, you will be increasing your chances of making a sale and closing more deals.
School administrators are just as strapped for time as the teachers who work directly with the students. It is your duty to keep track of the many school rosters, ensure that there are no overlaps in scheduling and keep the different groups of people involved in your school up to speed with what is going on. Even a principal of a small school knows that all of this is not an easy task to accomplish.
Simplifying Communication is the First Step Towards Simplifying Your School Day
School principals, secretaries and support staff talk with a lot of people during the day. There are a lot of inside school conversations taking place, but there is also a lot of time being spent on sending various communications to the parents of their alumni. Emails about upcoming meetings from the principal, field trip information from teachers, and vaccination reminders from the school nurse make up just a small percentage of a school's outflow of information.
Rather than multiple phone calls or emails that all relay the same message, you can simplify how messages are being sent from your school with a one call system.
How a One Call System Works
A one call system works in the same way as an old fashioned phone chain would, except without all of the links in the chain. A principal, teacher, or any other member of your staff can create a message that is then sent to all of the people on your chain with just one click. For example, if a teacher wanted to let their student's parents know about an important project that is due soon, they would either record the details and send it as a voice message to the parent's cell phones or it can be typed out and sent as an SMS text message.
From a large university setting to a small pre-school environment, any sized school would be able to benefit from this type of school notification system. Not only is it simple to integrate, it requires no installation of additional hardware or software into the school's computer systems.
Setting Up A One Call System For Your School
Setting up a one call system is as simple as inputting the phone numbers of all the parents, teachers and staff members of your school. These lists can then be classified into separate groups, such as by class. A contact can be added to as many groups as it fits into. In this way, when an automated call or text message needs to be sent, the sender only needs to click on the group or groups it wishes to receive it.
Not only is this a great way for all sized schools to keep parents updated, it also works as an emergency notification system. In the event of a snow storm for example, not only will the principal be able to send out an email to the parents in just a few minutes, but to the staff members who are wondering if they have to shovel their way to work that day.
Even for small private schools, there are tons of better ways for administrators to spend their days then on creating and sending home countless notes and making multiple phone calls. A one call system handles this all with greater speed and much better efficiency.
Our third annual "Tweet For Success Scholarship Contest" ended last Friday and we have finally selected the winners. Four students will be receiving a $250 check to put towards their college education. Two of the winners were selected by receiving the most votes for their scholarship entry - the other two winners were picked by the DialMyCalls staff.
This year the contest asked students to, in 140 characters or less, explain the benefits of online courses and degrees vs. traditional schooling. Over 12,000 students submitted an entry into this year's contest so it was extremely hard to pick only two winners.
Below you will find all four winners and their Tweet For Success Scholarship Contest entries - each winner will be receiving $250:
Top 2 Entries With Most Votes -
1) Jazzlynsworld - 641 Votes - "Online Degree= Flexibility. Diversity Broadens perspective, Communication enhanced, Innovation through Virtual teamwork, Saves time & money!"
2) Jasmine L. - 264 Votes - "Some students have to work to survive. Online coursing allows them to work while receiving proper education to improve their futures."
Staff Picks -
3) Connor - "One of the top benefits of online courses is the ability for disabled college students, unable to come to class, a chance for an education."
4) Heather - "Online courses allow students to become a sort of superman. They can work hard, play hard; all while completing an education online."
Thank you for everyone that entered this year - keep an eye out for a chance to win next year!
Private healthcare facilities are faced with countless challenges starting with keeping a steady stream of patients, improving their care and managing your costs. It is not easy to make a busy medical practice more productive, but once you start identifying your key problem areas you can start finding solutions one by one.
Your two best resources for pinpointing issues that are holding your practice back are the staff members and your patients. Start talking to them and you will find a myriad of ways where you can improve office efficiency.
Put Your People Where Their Strengths Are
One of the first things to look at is how you are utilizing your staff members. Are trained nurses and aides getting stuck behind the reception desk? That is taking them away from patient care, slowing down the flow of patients through the office. Make sure you have enough qualified people behind your front desk so that your medical support staff is able to utilize their special skills where they are needed the most.
Streamline Your Reception Area
There is a lot of time and energy being wasted in trying to reach out to patients over the phone. Invest in an automated appointment reminder system where you can send out appointment reminders, prescription information and the availability of test results via phone call or text message. This will avoid spending your time trying to reach them manually by phone and you know they received your automated message through the number(s) you have in their medical file.
Block Out Time For Administrative Work
One thing that is disrupting your patient flow is having to stop and talk with patients who call in on the phone. To eliminate this, make room in your daily schedule where you are available to take calls. Two blocks of time, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, should be sufficient. This way, when you send an automated reminder, you can also "schedule" when the patient will call in for their prescription information or test results. This will eliminate the need to have to interrupt an exam to take phone calls.
Collect Patient Information Online
Your patients are wasting a lot of their own time sitting in your office filling out forms. If you set up a secure website, they can fill out the forms from home at their convenience. Now when they enter your office, the receiving nurse will already have the pertinent information on hand and can take them right away to prep for the exam.
Use an Assistant
There should be one qualified member of your staff who acts as your assistant. It will be there job to keep track of patients, make sure that they are triaged, and remind you of who is waiting to be seen. They should also be capable of transcribing your notes, giving you more time to see patients.
Your goal as a physician should be to see as many patients as possible while still providing quality health care. This can be accomplished, but you first need to put systems into practice that will make your office run more efficiently.
Cities are made up of diverse groups with various interests and preferences for how they obtain information. With busy schedules, community members have a greater appreciation for comfortable and convenient means of receiving news about what is going on in your city. They also desire being able to have their own views heard.
With modern technology you have more opportunities for fast and cost-effective ways to communicate with your citizens. Whether you are just attempting to reach out and provide information about an upcoming event, or have to share details about major road closures coming up, there are ways to stay in touch and keep people informed that are more reliable than methods of the past.
The Problems with the Community Wide Public Meeting
The community wide public meeting is still utilized by cities and towns across the United States. While effective in some areas it is important to make them comfortable for everyone. Some citizens are intimidated by the formality, because some meetings are being dominated by the same few who have grown comfortable with speaking publicly. Consider the format and make more room in the agenda for discussion, and consider a smaller, casual setting. You can learn a lot about what is happening in the community while standing around a dessert table and sipping on coffee.
Don't rely on having the meeting at the same day and time each month. This will get the city into a rut of the same faces. Not everyone is available or has the energy to make a Wednesday night meeting, but would love to chance to have their voice heard on a Sunday afternoon.
Restructuring your public meetings still does not address the issue of communication on a daily basis. Event planning and emergency information needs to have an effective and reliable means of being transmitted. A city website is invaluable for providing such information, as it can be read at the citizen's convenience. Consider using alerts that send emails to community members when a new item or update has been added.
Another alert system that has been steadily growing in popularity is an emergency notification system. With the greater portion of the population running their lives from a smartphone, it is easy to integrate automated alerts that are offered by companies such as DialMyCalls into your public works. For this type of system you only need to encourage the community to share their phone numbers with you. Anytime you need to share that a road is being temporarily closed or that your local high school is putting on a talent show, you can easilty send a quick message. Each person who shared their number with you will then receive an SMS text message or phone call providing them with the important details.
Pushing for Polling Devices
Feedback is an important part of keeping the city's citizens engaged in the community. The same emergency notification system mentioned above provides many opportunities for feedback either with polling messages or a vanity number where messages can be left for the city. With the polling feature you ask a question and provide a number of options as an answer. They just need to pick the corresponding number, then from your command system you can see which option got the most positive response. The vanity number provides a forum for those afraid to speak up at a public meeting to voice their opinion in a setting that is comfortable for them.
Integrating the traditional community communication methods with modern technology is a great way to encourage involvement from all of your citizens. You can easily make your city a more open and informed environment by updating your communication methods today.
The services provided by utility companies are vital for their customers. Whether it be water, gas or electricity, temporarily cutting the service is going to cause some inconvenience. In order to cut down on the amount of customers calling into the office asking why the service is disrupted and when it will be resumed, you can save everyone the headache by executing a plan for outages that has every customer involved in the communication loop.
Once you know there is work that needs to be done which requires a disruption, your engineers should start planning on how it can be accomplished most efficiently. As much preparation as possible should be done ahead of time, and practice sessions performed to ensure that are no surprises that will cost more time.
Have Your Plans Readily Available for Your Customer
When new customers sign on for your service, a small pamphlet should be sent that outlines your standard procedures for a planned outage. Make sure that it includes a phone number to call with any questions. You could use a vanity phone number to allow them to call in and leave messages with their concerns. Many of the questions will be the same, and with a mass notification system such as DialMyCalls, you can answer all of the customers at the same time with one message.
Notify Your Customers as Far in Advance as Possible and Continually
As soon as you know the date, time and estimated length of outage you can then send out a message to your customers who will be affected. Also have the details outlined on your website. Include the reasons why the work is being done, so they understand its importance. In the days leading up to the planned outage send out daily reminders using the same SMS text messaging feature that DialMyCalls offers. Up to the last hour you should be reminding customers so that they take the steps needed to prepare. This ensures that everyone who will be inconvenienced knows exactly what to expect.
Keep Customers in the Loop as the Work is Being Done
At around the halfway point, it would be appreciated by your customers if you send out a quick SMS text message that lets them know of the progress and about how much longer it is going to take. If something is taking longer than expected prepare them for this as well. Your service should also issue a message once the work is complete and service has been restored.
Ask For Feedback
In the weeks following a planned outage, ask your customers for feedback on how the procedure went, if they notice any improvement to service and what could be done better next time. DialMyCalls has telephone polling that allows for polling large numbers of people at a time. Use this to get an idea of what you need to start doing now to make future planned outages easier on your customers.
Running your business creates unique challenges as it is one that is relied on heavily to meet your customer's most basic needs. Understanding that, and taking the steps to keep them informed will go a long way towards making any planned outages run smoothly.
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