The Dialogue survey, whose findings are announced today, support a recent report put together by telecoms regulator Ofcom, which showed the UK as a world leader in SMS messaging, being named the second highest texting nation in the world as an estimated 83 billion SMS messages are sent every year, coming only second to the US, averaging 830 billion.
The Dialogue study, which asked participants how they usually and how they would like to receive appointment reminders, found that although only three per cent of people currently receive reminders by text – with 83 per cent coming through post – over 67 per cent would be happy to receive text reminders or alerts in the future. Nearly 60 per cent would actually opt in for the text reminder service, and just over 80 per cent of people said they would also be interested in a customer service text call-back request capability.
Guiom Peersman, managing director of Dialogue Communications, commented: “The SMS phenomenon goes on, and here at Dialogue we are seeing a constant demand for innovative new applications.
“People text all the time and the survey shows they are more than happy to use it beyond normal social networking. With 67 per cent of our study participants happy to receive SMS reminders, and only three per cent currently doing so, our findings show that service organisations now need to be aware of this need and respond to it.”
The overwhelming reason participants gave for the move away from postal reminders and towards SMS message reminders was that it was more convenient. With the majority of people keeping their mobile phones with them most of the time text messages are a good way of communicating a short reminder as the message will then be stored on the phone for future reference, and respondents considered they were generally more reliable then the post. Others reasons included being more environmentally friendly, and – with smartphones – easier to sync with outlook calendars.
Dialogue Communications SMS applications have been used by a number of different organisations including local councils and police authorities which have had highly successful text campaigns, including East Riding of Yorkshire Council which has been using Dialogue’s ‘Text a Fraud’ variation on community text since 2005. Others include East Dunbartonshire Council, as well as both Hampshire and West Yorkshire police forces.