WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME WORKING WITH OUR CUSTOMERS TO IMPROVE THE WAY THEY COMMUNICATE DURING BUSINESS DISRUPTIONS, AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT RULES WE'VE COME ACROSS IS ...
Garbage in, garbage out!
We've recently added a series of new features to our Alert Cascade mass notification (you can read more about this here), but if your contact data is inconsistent, out of date or just plain missing, you're not going to be able to communicate effectively with your stakeholders regardless of the quality of the communications platform that you're using. To get the most out of an automated mass communications service, you need to ensure that the contact lists in your service are accurate and up to date. But, you don't want the task of keeping that information up to date to be so time consuming that:
a) It doesn't get done at all;
b) It gets done inconsistently because it's time consuming; or worse ...
c) It gets done after you've had a major incident/disruption and didn't manage to contact key stakeholders because your contact lists weren't up to date.
We'd like to add another option to the list:
d) It gets done perfectly each time because your mass notification tool works with your existing data, without you needing to cut and paste, reformat, rename or generally edit/faff around.
Using Alert Cascade data management tools to maintain a single source of truth
• Our platform is fully responsive, meaning it can be accessed from your smartphone, tablet, iPad, laptop or desktop PC. You can use our Manage Contacts tool to add, amend or delete existing contact records (permission dependent) on any internet enabled device.
• Ideal for new starters who haven't appeared in your HR system yet or staff who are going to be away from the business unexpectedly (long term sick, garden leave, disciplinary issues etc).
• Option to import information from your existing data source (HR system, CRM, manual spreadsheet), using your own column headings i.e. if you call a field Personal Mobile, Alert Cascade will call it personal mobile as well in your dashboard, in your reports and in your contact records.
• Field mapping wizard so you can tell us which columns on your existing data are relevant, and which you'd like to ignore, without you having to export from your contact database, delete anything that's not relevant then re-import into your notification service. You can even save this as a template so that Alert Cascade remembers your preferences each time.
• Ability to create teams based on the fields in your existing data - if your HR database has a field called "Department", "Job Title" (or anything else!), Alert Cascade can automatically group your staff into teams based on this field. There's no limit to the number of data fields or teams you can use, so you can slice and dice your contact lists until you get to the structure that works best for you.
• Automatic number reformatting, ensuring that even if phone numbers are stored in various formats (+44, 0207, 44 (0) 207, spaces, no spaces etc), they will be read correctly by our telephony carriers, helping ensure your message always gets through.
• Ideal for keeping your two data sets totally synchronised without the need for any specialist knowledge or IT skills.
• Includes the full data import feature set along with the ability to automatically schedule exports from your existing contact database and securely transmit and import your information into your Alert Cascade account, without the need for any human intervention.
• Ability to set your own schedule, depending on how frequently your main data source is updated - your Alert Cascade SFTP account can collect your data hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, at a time and date that fits with your existing internal processes.
• Ideal for larger organisations, or organisations who may need to collate information from more than one data source.
• For total automation, we can connect your Alert Cascade account directly to your HR system, CRM or other database and automatically keep your Alert Cascade data in sync with your main contact data in real time, ensuring that whenever you need to send a message, you have the best chance possible of reaching your people.
• Ideal for organisations with more fluid/fluctuating contact lists.
• If you don't have an existing data source that you'd like to use, don't panic! Your prospective contacts can sign up to receive messages via our Alert Cascade registration pages, which are accessible from any internet enabled device and lets contacts register, de-register and amend their own data, making this a very effective "self management" tool.
• Automatically syncs with your main Alert Cascade account, ensuring that as soon as new data is received, it's available in your messaging platform.
• Ideal for organisations with a duty to keep local residents warned and informed under COMAH and REPPIR, or companies with a fluid temporary staff base (agency workers, short term contractors etc) whose details may not be captured in your main HR system.