SMS utilisation

East Midlands Railway’s new service could encourage emulation within the industry

East Midlands Railway have announced a new SMS alert service that will cater to customers whom have little to no access of mobile data functions. The new service will allow passengers to receive real-time customised travel information.

The SMS service, which is designed around general inclusivity, provides customers with personalised journey updates, including platform information, as well as delayed and cancellation notifications.

Customers can opt-in to the service by visiting the live journey information page on EMR’s website and clicking ‘Keep Me Updated,’ they will then be required to type in their mobile number.

The SMS alert function is part of EMR Messenger which was launched earlier this year. EMR Messenger also offers customers the option to receive detailed information via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp channels.

Neil Grabham, Director of Customer Services at East Midlands Railway, said:

“We understand that some customers do not use, or want to use, social media channels to be kept up to date with service disruptions. Likewise, some customers can only afford to use a phone with a low data allowance.

“This is about delivering consistent information across a range of platforms, in ways customers tell us they want to receive their updates. Some customers clearly prefer not to use their phone data allowance for travel information. In that instance, SMS messaging presents an alternative and convenient way to be kept up to date with key personal journey information.

“The SMS service will provide the core functions needed by customers to receive the latest information when they take a journey with us and we hope they will find it useful.”

Innovative systems like this will massively aid those who are seeking to make the most of their rail journeys, allowing easy and effective relaying of information at people’s fingertips. Whilst the benefits for passengers cannot be understated, this new system will enhance EMR’s overall understanding of how people use its services and where they could make improvements going forward.

The success of this SMS alert system should be monitored by other rail companies across the UK, as consistent innovation of services can only help the public image of the UK rail sector and encourage faith from the utility consumers.

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