RACV members enjoy the benefits of SMS

MessageMedia first started working with RACV in 2013, when the company completed an SMS message trial. For the trial, RACV sent every customer or member who called for emergency roadside assistance an SMS message to advise them that their service vehicle was en route. This trial was implemented Victoria-wide (metro and regional).

The trial delivered the following results:

  • 16 percent reduction in overall call-backs
  • AU$46-53,000 gain from reduced resources
  • Improved customer satisfaction

Due to the success of the trial, SMS was implemented for roadside assistance services.

SMS helps RACV to solve a range of complex business issues

The RACV business is varied and complex, and each business unit faces different issues and has its own specific goals and objectives to achieve. Working with MessageMedia, a number of opportunities were identified where SMS could be leveraged to solve business issues, such as decreasing the number of calls coming into RACV call centres, and reducing the average call handling time for operators.

RACV increased its use of SMS by identifying new applications and introducing SMS to other business units. Sherman Ho, Roadside Assistance Systems Support Manager, said that SMS is now being used widely across the company.

“Among a number of new applications, we have introduced SMS for online booking confirmation for RACV clubs and resorts. We use it for all restaurant, gym and accommodation bookings, and we’ve found that it really helps to reduce ‘no-shows’ and latecomers.”

SMS reminders have been shown to cut no-show rates by up to 50 percent, as well as greatly reduce the frequency of last minute cancellations.

The company has also integrated SMS services into its drive school database: “When an operator receives a call or email to book in a drive school lesson, he or she will update the drive school database,” said Ho.

“Once the booking is confirmed, the drive school system will generate the message to the driving instructor and drive school customer notifying them both of the date and time for the lesson. The SMS helps to ensure fewer lessons are missed, and it helps keep instructors and students on time.”

Another application is a service for all deaf, and hearing- and speech-impaired members. RACV provides full access to SMS messaging services for these members in the event of a breakdown.

RACV is developing a mobile application linking the membership with roadside assistance. “This application will automatically send a notification SMS to our members once the emergency roadside assistance job request is lodged from within the mobile app. This new service is currently under development and will be introduced to RACV members in late 2016.”

Leveraging SMS with an in-app push experience is a proven solution that is being used to good effect by a number of industries, including the financial sector. Using SMS in a multi-channel approach is highly effective because SMS is delivered on the mobile device, and can create a timely opportunity to engage a customer.

Greater productivity and reduced staff workloads

SMS continues to have a positive impact at RACV in terms of improving productivity and reducing staff workloads. “It reduces the number of return calls from members to confirm their booking or job request,” says Ho. “And when members need to call back regarding an enquiry, they can quote the job reference number we provided in the SMS, which helps to reduce the average handling time for the calls.”

RACV does not specifically measure customer satisfaction or feedback about SMS because nowadays it is such a common way to deliver notification services. However, Ho says, “I can see the whole business process is working better because of SMS notifications. If there was no SMS service, our call centre would definitely receive more calls because members were not communicated with or updated about the latest status of their booking or request.”

Ho said that RACV is happy with the service provided by MessageMedia. “In particular, we find the MessageMedia customer web portal user-friendly and easy to use. And from a system administration perspective, it’s hassle-free. We simply set up a child account for each department and provide the users with basic training. Then they can manage the account and SMS applications by themselves.”

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