Selecting a mass notification system can be daunting. The last thing you want is an April Fool’s joke — on you — when you realize that the system you selected doesn’t have all the features you need. Successful communication isn’t easy. It requires a sophisticated system that is still exceptionally easy to use. Don’t be fooled: here are the requirements to consider when purchasing an emergency communications system.
Business managers know how important it is to ensure that the correct message gets to its intended audience. You want to keep management and emergency leaders in the loop with recommendations for helping alleviate any challenges. However, a different message should be sent to employees with specific instructions on steps they need to take to stay safe. If your communications strategy doesn’t allow for multiple threads of messaging, you’ll need to keep looking. Segmentation is not just by audience group, and it can also be by region or area, too. Make sure that the notification system that you select offers a variety of options for sharing the right message with the correct group when they need it.
People today communicate by a wide range of different methods, and one size does not fit all when it comes to emergency notifications. While there are more than 224 million smartphones in the U.S., there are still plenty of people who do not have access to this technology. This makes it critically important to be able to reach out to people via phone call, voice mail, email depending on the needs of the situation. If your technology only supports one or two of these options, you’re almost certain to miss providing potentially life-saving information to a part of your audience.
Creating messages before you need them can save critical minutes in the middle of a crisis and may make a significant difference for your audience. Your mass notification vendor should be able to store messages to be used in the future. Ensuring that it’s easy for your emergency management team to retrieve and send the messages is imperative as well. It doesn’t matter how good your communications platform is if it’s too complex for people to be able to utilize it without a great deal of time and re-training for each emergency.
Did you know that one in five people living in the United States do not speak English? This statistic may be surprising, but it should open your eyes to the fact that any notification system today needs to have the ability to send messages in multiple languages at the same time. Having a multilingual workforce requires you to fully understand their needs and be able to send messages in their preferred language. Communicating in your contacts’ language ensures that there are not any miscommunications due to translation issues. Another valuable feature is to offer text to speech, so individuals can record an audio alert instead of relying on typing skills.
You need to know that the vendor you select will be available when you need them. Review their uptime guarantees, looking for a partner whose uptime is as close to 100 percent as possible. Support needs to be immediate and accessible, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Select an organization who is fully compliant with SSAE 16 SOC 2, which ensures that all required government safeguards are being followed. Security is also an important component; consider a partner whose platform integrates with your organization’s enterprise login and other platforms to ensure that only permitted personnel are accessing the system.
With all these qualifications, you can see how it might be easy to be “fooled” by a mass communications platform that sounds good but doesn’t have the full functionality that you need to keep your employees safe. Contact OnSolve today for a free demo of our premiere critical notification tool at 866-939-0911 or request a free demo online.
The truth of the matter is you won’t realize how much you need an emergency notification system until you do need one. We hear countless stories of organizations and groups wishing they had one in place before it was too late. A proactive response will always be your best response.Download The Article