by Hal Carl, Vice President, Child Support Solutions, Conduent
Remember the buzzing, light-up pagers that doubled as drink coasters when you were waiting for a restaurant table? In their place, most restaurants today send out simple text messages alerting you when your seat is ready. And that makes sense, considering that virtually every American — and 99% of the population between the ages of 18 and 49 — owns a cell phone.
In similar fashion, public services organizations are implementing proactive customer notifications, which they can use to stay connected with clients and issue timely, targeted reminders. Such changes may sound minor at first, but their results can be significant. Indeed, as a number of studies indicate, small changes to make processes easier can substantially improve human services program outcomes.
While proactive notification is already widespread at the federal agency level — the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), for instance, is installed by default on nearly all smartphones — it is catching on in the nation’s largest and most innovative cities. New York City, for instance, has adopted a proactive notification system for court dates. The reminder program uses SMS text messaging to remind citizens of their obligation to appear — as well as the consequences of failing to do so. Since being implemented, these simple “nudges” have lowered the city’s failure-to-appear rate by 26%.
That’s why Conduent has developed a child support notification solution: It sends convenient, immediate updates to clients on the device they prefer to use to engage. Better yet, with Conduent’s solution, clients have the freedom to choose the time that works best for them to receive messages. Based on their preferences, they’ll receive notifications over email and text about a host of important concerns — from legal developments to court cases and appointments. Conduent is even looking to leverage social media channels like Facebook for notification and messaging in the future.
Besides increasing engagement, Conduent’s solution makes life easier for the agencies in charge of administering child support, too. Now, caseworkers can design clear and professional messages from templates and customize the recipient audiences on multiple case details and conditions, subject to supervisor approval. All messages are tracked and available for reporting and compliance needs, as are client responses through the notification system.
Plus, text delivery is virtually instantaneous, which eliminates the need to wait for a phone queue or printed mail processing. This makes proactive electronic delivery an ideal choice for everything from payment due notifications to reminders and administrative updates. Unlike an automated interactive voice response (IVR) call, which may fail to reach someone for any number of reasons, over 99% of text messages are successfully delivered. And research shows that people open over 90% of all texts received.
Such an approach brings together convenience, near-universal adoption and the power to respond with a timely payment, commitment or appointment. It’s a natural extension of Conduent’s robust child support solutions portfolio and furthers our commitment to delivering the best options and insights to clients.
Read more about our proactive customer notification solutions for child support.