East Midlands Railway’s new SMS alert service will support customers by allowing them to receive real-time customised travel information
East Midlands Railway (EMR) wants to offer customers with low data allowance, no social media or no access to good mobile signals the opportunity to receive customised travel information using their new SMS test service.
The SMS service has been designed to be inclusive and offers customers personalised updates about their journey such as platform information and any delay or cancellation notifications.
Customers can choose to use the service by visiting the live journey information page on EMR’s website and after searching for their journey clicking the green ‘Keep Me Updated’ button where they will then be asked to provide their mobile number.
The SMS alert facility is part of EMR Messenger which came into operation earlier this year and provides customers with the option to have detailed information sent via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp channels.
In order to offer an inclusive service for customers, EMR introduced the SMS alert which will support those living in areas with poor mobile signal or who don’t use social media or have low data allowance the chance to receive up to the minute information sent to their mobiles.
The SMS alert was introduced by EMR to make sure it is offering an inclusive service to customers. Allowing customers who live in areas with a poor signal, who don’t want to use social media, or who have a low data allowance, access to up-to-date information on their mobiles.
A good deal of SMS messages do not count as part of mobile data allowance with many basic mobiles that do not have a data plan able to both send and receive SMS messages, however, customers are advised to check with their mobile phone contract provider.
The service is powered by innovative AI and data prediction technology which has been developed by Zipabout who are a Midlands based company who have pioneered personal information services for people travelling by train throughout the UK.
The service will also offer EMR an unparalleled insight into how people use their network giving the opportunity to plan smarter journeys.
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.”
Alex Froom, CEO at Zipabout, said: “SMS is reliable, user-friendly and a seamless way of communicating even in areas with poor signal. Offering SMS as another choice in how passengers receive personalised journey information shows the importance EMR places on the individual needs of their passengers.
“Despite the popularity of WhatsApp and Messenger, there are many passengers who choose not to use messaging apps for reasons including simplicity, privacy and accessibility and the launch of SMS updates ensures that they can still be kept in the loop about their journeys.”