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Confirmed, delivered, or disappeared? – Part two

An organization that uses an emergency notification system is responsible for informing its constituents about incidents quickly and efficiently. However, an organization will struggle if it cannot confirm whether its target audience receives notifications in critical situations.


In our last edition, we looked at the three categories of message delivery and the impact of “blasting out” messages without confirming receipt. Out of respect for message recipients, organizations have a responsibility to only try to send a message until it is successfully delivered – the recipient must confirm receipt. To simply send out a message to every device because this option is available is irritating to the recipient and devastating to the local call infrastructure. So, the goal for all organizations that send emergency notifications should be confirmed receipt of a contact attempt – physical interaction with a target recipient.


However, organizations should understand the benefits of confirming receipt to optimize their use of an emergency notification system. To minimize damage and prevent the loss of life and property during a critical incident, organizations must send notifications, confirm receipt, and continue to provide updates as this situation develops.


The following list highlights the top five benefits of confirming receipt of a message:


1. Instantly ensure your target audience gets a notification – When you get positive confirmation of message receipt, you can stop trying to contact that person. You have received a response that the stakeholder confirmed receipt of your message; therefore, there is no need to continue trying to get that message to this individual because he or she is now “in the know.”


2. Aid your infrastructure – When you can “confirm and quit,” or stop trying to contact those people who got the message, you decrease the load on your infrastructure at a time when it is already strained due to whatever issue you are dealing with.


Imagine tossing a non-stop notification into a strained infrastructure and continuing to use phone lines, email servers, cell towers, and other contact paths long after every person already received the message – you are now part of the communication infrastructure problem.


Don’t add to this problem. Instead, confirm, quit, and repeat the process until every constituent has confirmed receipt.


3. Utilize real-time feedback – When you can confirm message delivery, you also get real-time feedback of what devices are working in an emergency. For example, if you are getting confirmations via email when you sent a message to all devices, you know that, for now, the phone lines are unusable. As a result, you can tailor your next communication to the available devices and construct your message accordingly.


4. Track different responses – When you have the ability to confirm receipt, you also have the ability to process other types of responses. Instead of simply asking whether an individual received a notification, you can now use the same pathway to get specific responses to questions. By being able to separate the needs of your recipients into logical groups, you can effectively manage your resources.


5. Boost user satisfaction levels – When a person can receive updates in critical situations, he or she is using a logical, efficient system. This individual can quickly confirm receipt and act appropriately based on the information that he or she received.


On the contrary, when a person confirms receipt but continues to receive the same notification on different devices, he or she may feel annoyed or frustrated. In fact, this constituent is much more likely to opt out of emergency notifications entirely.


To bolster user satisfaction levels, organizations can stop sending the same message to an individual who has already confirmed receipt. Doing so may help organizations increase their emergency notification system enrollment levels as well.


Confirmed receipt is key for organizations of all sizes because it ensures constituents can stay informed throughout an incident. Enhance your critical communications by providing up-to-the-minute information to stakeholders and confirming receipt in emergencies.

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