The Science of Live Help by Text - Defining the Encounter

We are now tracking all encounters as having the following characteristics:

1. An optin, initial text from end user requesting live help

2. An outgoing text (hand-typed or canned that is sent by a responder)

3. Close case  

Each of these series are now being tracked and recorded in the system with unique ID numbers. You can find a record of your encounters by going to the "Home" page - aggregate stats with graphs showing total incoming/outgoing sms and the total encounters. Home page is meant to be a snapshot of your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly activity on the system. Additionally, there's a specific report called "Encounters" that has the following columns: "encounter ID" "phone number" "no of outgoings" "no of incomings" "duration" and "status"

This report will help document the work you're doing in a way that is consistent and therefore, measurable. Additionally, you'll be able to use your encounter data for research. You can still count your encounters however you like. This layer of service is meant to help with that so that you can use the encounter data as a starting place and build from there.  

We will be updating the pdf that describes each of the reports to include a description of the encounters report. You can start to run reports now. Go to Reports tab, and then click the sub tab "automated reports" select the report called "Encounters" and then choose the frequency: daily, weekly, monthly, every 6 months or last year.  Then click "create report". Your report will be ready for download according to the run schedule. You can create an ad-hoc report that goes back as far as a year with a custom time-frame. Under the reports tab, select the sub tab "manual" and then select "Encounters" then choose the timeframe and click "create report".

If you have any questions about this or other new features/functionality, contact ""! 


Now Supporting Fully Automated, Assignable Surveys!

Build Deep Client Engagement with Fully Automated, Customizable, Assignable Surveys!

You might already be familiar with the survey tools. In the past, surveys would need to be assigned to a client based on the keyword they text. Now you can assign a survey to a client at anytime and it doesn't have to be tied to a keyword. This is available while you are viewing a client. The feature is on the right under client attributes, see arrow "Surveys".

Any surveys that you have set up with us will be available here as "assignable" and "schedulable". If you don't see the fields then contact "" and we will activate them for you. If you have never set up a survey with us and you would like to, just send us an email with the request. Surveys can be triggered by simply selecting the survey and setting the delay time and saving. The survey title will appear in pending status in the same section with the date time that the survey is scheduled to run. That's it!  Here are a just a few ways automated surveys are being used:

  • Quality Assurance
  • Risk Assessments
  • Follow Up Care
  • Screening/Needs Assessments
Capture high quality data with zero impact on staff!

Capture high quality data with zero impact on staff!

For most agencies, calling someone on the phone to survey them just isn't a workable model anymore, too time consuming with paltry results. So, rather than settling for something that is broken, change the model. With more and more people preferring text for these types of communications, the text survey is a game changer. By simply adapting the communication channel, text makes this high quality data infinitely more accessible. End users more readily respond when they're able to do so via text, a simple, convenient way to answer questions that (when part of a phone call) are largely viewed as burdensome, that you're pestering them. Moreover, with text, the client is less likely to "satisfy" - a phenomenon that plagues the live phone method. 

In addition to fully automated text message surveys, here are some other ways PreventionPays Text is helping agencies elevate their communication capacity:

Live, one-on-one texting for live help (because the next-gen help-seeker doesn't make voice calls anymore)

Reminders/auto-responses to keywords (educational message tracks, timed, automated)

Appointment Reminders (future and missed with live two-way help for cancellations and rescheduling. Your clients want to text you. We say, let them!)

Group Messages (create ad-hoc groups based on preference, response to triage questions, information obtained during a live text conversation, or from client profile)

Schedule a demo or contact us for a quote!


The Explosion of Text As a Two-Way Communication Tool

Mobile phones are ubiquitous and have opened doors in how relationships can be developed and maintained between two people, between groups of people, and between organizations and businesses and their clients.

Organizations have identified the mobile phone as a tool for massive and scalable communication with their clients via text with the idea that this is a quick and easy communication method to better engage individuals in their community.  

Over 80% of U.S. adults own a smart phone and over 95% of clients who agree to receive text messages from an agency/organization open those messages within the first three minutes of receiving them. It makes sense that these same organizations are dramatically increasing their investment in this type of communication.

The question is: Does an opened text message mean a relationship has developed?

In terms of building a relationship, the most ideal scenario is for two individuals to have in-person conversations to learn about each other, but this method is neither cost nor time effective for an organization to employ. So, how can text messaging be used to build relationships with individuals while serving communities of thousands, even millions?

There are several strategies that take advantage of the use of text messaging to interact with clients. Two common strategies are:

One-way Messaging: This strategy serves to disseminate information. In terms of building relationships, however, it is impossible to do so with a human being via one-way communication. 

Two-way text messaging without adaptations: This strategy involves participating in two-way conversations but never adapting the content of the messages. When trying to build a relationship, a participant in a conversation will become frustrated if the responses he/she receives indicate that the other party is not listening. Imagine if someone asks you what you want to drink, you respond juice, and then they give you a soda—how frustrating, right?

The Most Successful Approaches Embrace Adaptability Through a Fusion of Tailored, Automated Texts and Live One-On-One Responses

So, what is "adaptability"?  Our clients manage thousands of conversations with customers every day via text. This knowledge has taught us that there are certain characteristics that are essential to using text messaging as a tool to build and strengthen client relationships. These features foster quality communication while maintaining low costs and allowing for scalability to thousands, even millions of clients:

Two-Way: Again, a good relationship is based on two-way communication between both parties involved. If the client does not have the opportunity to express his/herself, it is no surprise that he/she would not feel included in the relationship. The provider also loses the opportunity to listen to the client. Client feedback represents elements of their personal stories.  If a client decides to share pieces of their personal story, that information should be treated as an opportunity to better understand your client as a person.

Adaptable: Two-way communication can be a missed opportunity if the content of the messages do not match the information the client shares. In a relationship, it is important to remember that the client's perspective is personal and that people are dynamic and can change their minds. Using their personal responses to send tailored content to them lets them know that they are being heard. Adaptability allows for messages to be based on client feedback and to change over time as needed.

Giving the Client Control: SMS marketing campaigns decide what clients will talk about and what time they will talk about it, instead of letting the client decide. In a relationship, it is important to have opportunities where each side can decide the content of their conversations.

Individualized: Many agencies and organizations see the value of text messaging as an opportunity for mass communication. While text messaging is a good tool for that purpose, if the goal is to build relationships, it is necessary to take a much more individualized approach. In a good relationship, each participant responds to comments and specific questions of one another in a personalized way.

And it's these relationships that we encourage and support through our highly effective, efficient and customizable two-way text messaging platform. Engage, educate and empower individuals in your community through the medium your clients use every day.

Embrace two-way texting today!



Call To Action: Effective Strategies for Alerting Clients about Your Text Service

The call to action is what your clients need to text in order to contact your agency. A text call to action is similar to posting your phone number. So, when you go live, you can update your website with a call to action banner.

Most agencies we work with will have texting capacity before their community knows it. Texting is the most common communication channel for Americans under 55, more than voice calls and email. So, how do you reach this rapidly growing group? How do you build up your web presence so that members of the community know you can receive text messages from them? Here are a few simple and effective tips!

TIP #1:  Add your call to action to every page of your website. One way to make sure would be to put it in the footer or header, or anywhere that is prominent and highly visible and viewable.

Tip #2: Keep it simple. The call to action has two parts, the keyword and the short code.  For example, text DEMO to 898211 where "DEMO" is the keyword and 898211, the short code.  The keyword can have quotations or not - it doesn't matter. The best method is all uppercase, no quotations. You can also highlight the keyword and short code. When you post your phone number, it's just that - a phone number to call.  

Tip #3: Make it clickable. Same as click to call, a click to text link will autofill the short code in their text application, thus making it easier to access services.  With 80% of web browsing happening on smart phones, there's a good chance they're on their mobile phone when the visit your website. If you're not on a texting device, you'll get an error. So, be mindful of this. 

Tip #4:  A visual aide can also be helpful. A simple graphic that shows individuals texting can make your call to action really pop and doesn't cost much.  

Tip #5: Advertise as a "new service". People tend to get excited about new services, especially when it's as novel as text. Funders are also more likely to take notice when you make noise about it.  

Tip #6: Don't forget the Terms and Conditions! Telling folks "standard msg and data rates apply and they can text "STOP" to opt out" is not just best practice; with website posts, it's also a requirement.  While most people know they can text STOP, it's a nice courtesy for those that don't. Prominently posting your Terms and Conditions also sends a strong signal that your agency takes end user privacy seriously. 

Tip #7: Include the call to action in your IVR and for folks on hold. This will give you a great jumpstart and generate traffic instantly. Plus, your community will love you for it.

Here are some examples:

**Please note, all samples are for the 211 sector. Services are available for any agency offering live help. We power several short codes that are branded for various priority populations and types of agencies.  All collateral is available for your agency's uses. Just ask us! We will also provide you with the source images so that you can brand with your own logo and language. 

Anonymous Service for Clients that Need It!

You asked for it. Well now you've got it. For clients needing a completely anonymous service, you can now mask client phone numbers and also remove the ability to view the sms tab at the staff level. How do you implement? If you're already a client, just give us a call and we will change your queue settings to "masking" status. All numbers will be masked unless you elect to turn it off. Additionally, you can assign/un-assign the sms tab.  The sms tab is the last place where client data for clients that are "opted out" is viewable.  For this level of change, we recommend contacting us first before implementing. We will help make sure the service is customized to suit the specific needs of your agency!

For agencies looking to implement an anonymous text helpline, contact us for details today! We'll schedule a 30-minute demo so you can see how the service can be made completely anonymous.

For some agencies, sanitized data is not enough. We now offer identity masking.

For some agencies, sanitized data is not enough. We now offer identity masking.