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How CTM Uses CTM: Leveraging Bulk Text Messaging for a Safe Return to Work Strategy

by Holly Mallos

At CallTrackingMetrics, we’re proud to say we’re a SaaS company that actively uses our own product every day. Like our customers, we use CTM to manage our sales and support interactions with customers, track engagement on our marketing campaigns, and report on our agent and call performance. In this series, How CTM Uses CTM, we highlight how our own team uses our platform to help inform strategies or techniques you may want to employ at your own company. In this installment, we asked our Director of Human Resources, Shannon Duvall, about how she’s leveraged our software to help get CTM safely back into the workplace nearly six months after COVID-19 first hit.

After quickly figuring out how to transition in-office teams into remote teams back in March, many organizations like CallTrackingMetrics are now strategizing about how and when to safely get employees back into the office. What this essentially means is that many Human Resources (HR) professionals are spending countless hours defining what exactly constitutes a safe re-entry, as well as re-establishing employee safety protocols. In short, HR departments are having to write “return-to-work” playbooks for perhaps the first time ever. As you can imagine, keeping employees engaged and aware of these changes with effective communication is key. In this post, we’ll share how we’ve utilized our own texting capabilities within CTM to automate daily communications to employees planning to return to the office that day.

Building a Brand New Playbook

Prior to re-opening CTM’s doors, Duvall and CTM’s co-founder and COO, Laure Fisher, worked to carve out a detailed plan for workplace re-entry. They determined the safest way to do this was to split the organization of roughly 50 employees within a handful of departments into two shifts to ensure limited exposure, with “A Shift” employees assigned to Mondays and Tuesdays in the office, and “B Shift” employees assigned to Thursdays and Fridays, with attendance remaining optional. Every Wednesday the entire team works remotely, allowing for a full cleaning of the office between shifts, and there are numerous safety measures in place within the office to ensure minimal contact and contamination.

“We’ve clearly defined meeting room capacities based upon the safe distancing of employees, ensured ample cleaning supplies are available throughout our workspaces, placed hand sanitizer and masks at every turn, limited access to communal spaces, and ensured that all employees are properly set-up to use CTM’s August lock system for touchless door entry and exit of our workspaces,” shares Duvall. “But the most important aspect of our strategy is requiring employees to complete a health self-assessment prior to entering the building each day to ensure they are not putting other team members at risk.”

The health self-assessment is sent out each morning to employees on that designated A or B shift via text message using CallTrackingMetrics. There are various complexities involved, however, with team members split across different shifts who also start their days at different times—for example, some of our customer support engineers begin their work day at 7:30 am, and others at 11:30 am. We didn’t want those on later shifts getting pinged with text messages at 6:30 am!

Finding an Automated Solution

Luckily, CallTrackingMetrics offers multiple ways for businesses to easily send and receive text messages to any size audience, at any time they choose. Duvall was able to customize our bulk text messaging feature to automatically send out daily health self-assessments exactly one hour before an employee is scheduled to come into the office that day.

The health self-assessment is sent out each morning to employees on that designated A or B shift via text message using CallTrackingMetrics.

For example, if a Technical Support Engineer works a 7:30 am to 3:30 pm “A Shift,” they’ll receive an automated text message to complete their health assessment at 6:30 am on both Monday and Tuesday. Duvall sets a schedule for each of the texts, so she doesn’t disturb employees on later shifts.

“With our new split shifts, we actually need to send twelve unique blasts every week. But, the great thing about using our bulk messaging feature is that after the initial set-up, all of the text blasts are automated and I never have to worry about it again. Texts can literally be sent in my sleep,” shared Duvall.

The great thing about our bulk messaging feature is that after the initial set-up, all of the text blasts are automated and I never have to worry about it again. Texts can literally be sent in my sleep.

Duvall said the assessments actually serve a dual purpose too—not only do they ensure employees are healthy before entering the office, but they also create a “contact tracing” list so we know who was in the building and on which days if someone on the team becomes sick.

Setting Up Bulk Text Messages

Inspired to try this with your own team? Creating a bulk message within our platform is simple. In your CTM account, navigate to “Activities,” then “Bulk Messages,” and follow these steps:

  1. Select “New Bulk Message.”
  2. Add your custom description and message.
    Sample Description: “COVID-19 Daily Employee Self-Assessment”
    Sample Message: “If you plan to come into the office today, please complete the self-assessment form prior to arriving” (and add a link to your company’s health assessment—we use Google Docs to collect answers and track employees who enter the office, which is private and confidential to the HR team)
  3. Select “Use Existing List”, then select the appropriate list from the drop down menu (If you don’t have an existing contact list, you can easily import one by selecting “Choose File” under “Upload CSV”).
  4. If you only have a few employees, you can click “Manual Add.” Be sure to enter one number per line, and include the country code. For additional help, you can review our Bulk Text Messages help article on the CTM Support Hub.

The last step is choosing when to send the bulk message. You can:

  1. Choose “Send Now,” and the message will be sent as soon as you click “Schedule Bulk Message.”
  2. Select “Send Later,” and use the calendar to select a time and date to send the message.
  3. Click “Send Recurring” if you want to schedule a recurring message like we use—so, for example, your HR team can choose to send the same message every Monday and Tuesday at 6:30 am to one group of employees and another message at 10:30 am to a different group.

It’s fair to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has many companies in a tailspin trying to determine how to safely bring their employees back into the office. This is especially true for Human Resources professionals whose roles have never been more important: monitoring employees for health and risk factors, complying with continually-changing local and national regulations, and fielding questions from concerned employees. At CTM, we’re happy to say our platform is helping our employees feel safer about returning to work. We hope it can also help other CTM partners and organizations get back into the office safely soon, too.

Discover additional resources for remote work on CTM during COVID-19.