Introduction to Text Dispatch and Logistics
As the unofficial air traffic controllers for goods and services, overseeing hundreds of moving parts is just another day in the office for dispatchers and logistics managers. With that being said, we can understand how vital it is for your business to have timely, efficient, and reliable communication.
Which is why it might feel a little intimidating introducing a new way to communicate into your operations. While change may be tough, it may be just what you need to improve your field service management (FSM). And what has proved to be a faster, easier, and more efficient way to communicate over the last decade than texting?
Why Do Dispatchers and Logistics Managers Need SMS?
In a world of increasing internet connectivity, things can change in an instant. And you need a way to reach large groups of people at once to manage that. While email does a great job of this, it doesn’t necessarily ensure your message will get viewed right away.
In fact, most emails sit in an inbox for up to 90 minutes before receiving a response. Text messages, on the other hand, receive a response in around 90 seconds.
In addition, connecting with your road warriors (like truck drivers on the go) also requires an “unplugged” way to get in touch. Thankfully, recipients never require internet connectivity to receive a text message. It won’t matter if they have a basic flip phone or the newest iPhone, texts will reach it all.
With texting, you can get total communication control in real time. There are also some feature-based benefits of text marketing that serve needs specific to the dispatch and logistics industry:
- Shared/multiple logins– one system can enable multiple dispatchers to communicate with drivers and delivery folks all from the same convenient space.
- Shortened, trackable URLs– text out delivery updates to customers or staff with our trackable URLs. We’ll shorten the web address to fit in a text message and unlock the power of data allowing you to segment your list based on who has opened and viewed the page.
- Segment contacts– managing and scheduling shifts is easy with the ability to segment your workers into groups. Send out relevant coverage needs and schedules as soon as they’re generated.
- Text alerts– one single system can proactively send alerts, updates, and notifications to staff and customers based on their preset communication preferences. This can be a great tool for weather notifications, training tips, and more.
- Scheduling– stay ahead of your needs and schedule text messages to go out at any future date or time.
How Text Messaging Services For Dispatch and Logistics Work
If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide with everything you need to know about SMS marketing, we’ve gone ahead and written one for you. There are however a few essential things to note that will help you get started.
Keywords: SMS keywords are unique words that your clients or drivers can text to your number and opt in to text messages from you. From here, you can set up an automatic response that provides more information specific to a delivery or project.
Data Collection: Using keywords and data collection, you can also request info directly in the text message conversation. Ask questions as simple as their name or create custom fields to find out what delivery they need updates on. Based on their responses, you can create customer segments to better tailor your messaging.
Campaigns: A campaign is a text message that you send to a group of contacts.
Autoresponders: Autoresponders are messages that are sent automatically after someone opts-in to receiving text messages from you. With this feature, you can create a series of messages that send out over several days, weeks or even months.
Templates & Duplicates: Save time by reusing your frequently sent messages, campaigns, inbox replies, autoresponders, and keyword confirmation messages.
Examples of Texts for Dispatchers and Logistics Managers
Delivery Updates Provide customer and other relevant parties with real-time delivery updates. You can text out status reports or provide a link to an active tracking site! To ensure quality record keeping, drivers can text photos once a delivery has been made that can guarantee quality assurance records.
Send Shift Schedule or Make Changes Communicate 2-way with your field technicians and other staff by sending out schedules and receiving requests for changes or coverage in return. No more sorting lengthy email chains. Ensure there’s no miscommunication by segmenting each delivery into clear lists.
Training Tips With a dispersed workforce, you don’t often get the chance to have a large group of workers in the same space outside of their initial onboarding or training period. Ensure your staff is continually aware of industry best practice by sending periodic training or informational updates.
Weather Delays Inclement weather warnings can throw a wrench into even the most perfectly made plans. Ensure you stay on top of things by sending weather alerts. Keep staff on the road safe and avoid unhappy customers by explaining why there might be a delay that’s out of your control.
Manage Supply Chains Get proactive by sending automatic messages to your customers letting them know of inventory shortages, back orders, or new products of interest.
Stay on top of accounts by texting billing reminders and payment notifications to customers. No more overdue or outstanding accounts.
Provide Quotes Engage new or prospective clients by giving them an easy way to get a quote on one or more items.
Four Steps to Get Started With Text Dispatch and Logistics
Transitioning your communications over to SMS doesn’t have to be as frightful a transition as you may think. Mainly because it doesn’t require you or your staff to work with a new, foreign product or device. Virtually everyone knows how texting works, it’s simply up to you to show them how it can work for them in the context of your business.
As far as getting started as an administrator, there are just a few things you need before you send out your first message.
1. Choose a Number to Text Enable
When it comes to text enabling your business, the first step is to pick the right phone number. If your business already has an existing 10-digit landline and toll-free number, you can choose to text enable it. You can also opt to get set up with a new local 10-digit number, for added familiarity. Larger organizations may want to consider using a dedicated short code.
2. Reserve Your First Keyword
Once your business has a number squared away, you want to reserve a keyword. This is a short, memorable, word or phrase unique to your company. A keyword can be anything, but if you’re utilizing a shared short code, you cannot use a keyword that has already been claimed. An example of a solid keyword for your insurance agency could be a combination of your company’s name and the specific team or delivery group: ESLdelivery1. Your keyword confirmation, which can be an SMS or MMS message, also gives you a great opportunity to welcome new subscribers right off the bat!
3. Upload Existing Contacts
If you already have phone numbers for some of your customers or staff in an existing database, you can upload them directly into SimpleTexting. However, each person on your list must have given express written consent to receive messages from you. Texting any numbers that you have not collected organically is illegal and strictly against SimpleTexting’s anti-spam policy.
4. Advertise Your Text Marketing Program and Attract New Contacts
All of the text examples above are great, but they won’t work if you don’t have people to send them to! Building out a strong subscriber list is just as important as writing your campaigns. Unfortunately, you won’t build out your list without putting in some work. This involves both an internal and external effort.
Here are some tips for ensuring both your staff and your clients are aware of your new text program:
- If you utilize an internal company newsletter, be sure to prominently feature instructions on opting in for a few weeks. Going forward, be sure to always include a relevant footnote with a general opt-in keyword at the very least.
- Put a web form on your website that allows interested customers to opt in and receive more information.
- Add some graphics to your delivery vehicles advertising your keywords and phone number.
- Share stories, both internally and externally, of employees and clients who have demonstrated the value of your SMS program.
- When a new driver joins your roster and gives you their cellphone number, add a consent box for them check to receive texts.
- Customize air fresheners to hang in all of your trucks with relevant keywords and opt-in instructions for drivers.
A strong initial push is essential if you want your newly SMS-enabled business to catch on. However, staying consistent and keeping information top of mind is a great way to sustain continued growth. We’ve created a short video series that can make it easy to teach everyone exactly how text marketing works if you want an extra boost convincing your publics why this transition benefits them as much as you!
Get Started with SMS Dispatch and Logistics Marketing for Free
So, think you’re ready to give text marketing a try? Your best next step is to sign up for a free trial account with us.
You’ll get 50 messages plus your own custom keyword.
And yes, it’s really free. No credit card, no contract.
When you’re ready to upgrade to a paid account, it’s as simple as changing your billing plan from the dashboard.
Send your first message in minutes. Try SimpleTexting free for 14 days. No credit card required.