When I was a kid, I was tortured with reading scrolling news feeds along the bottom of our television screen during evening or early morning newscasts to discover if I’d have to go to school.
Sometimes you could find me listening intently to the early morning disc jockey read through the school cancellations.
Either way, the feeling of fear and disappointment mounted with each time the rotation made it’s way through with nary a mention of my school.
But those days are gone.
In their place? Technology.
My children will never know the anxiety of watching a scrolling list of cancellations.
No longer do the schools tell us which radio and television station to tune to for cancellation notices. Nope. Now, we opt-in for cancellation notices, handing over our email address and cell phone number.
There are no less than five ways that School District 145 (I live in Waverly.) can alert me to the decision to call off school. And not one of them involves a radio or a television.
- Email. Both my husband and I receive an email from the school alerting us to the cancellation.
- Text. We both receive a text messages letting us know that school is canceled.
- Phone. We both get phone calls on our cell phones with a recorded message telling us that school is canceled.
- Facebook. Of course, the Facebook pages are updated to let us know that school in canceled.
- Twitter. Our superintendent sends out a message on Twitter. And he even responds to tweets.
If, by the end of this onslaught of messages, I have not been alerted to the cancellation of school, call 911, because I am unconscious.
What can we learn from this?
Messages, and their deliveries, evolve with technology. As businesses, we need to constantly be looking for ways to stay in front of our customer.
Continue with traditional methods, but also begin to add new and innovative ways to surprise and delight your customers.
- Flash sales via text message
- Email codes for online discounts
- Showcase your inventory on Facebook and do giveaways
- Tweet out a secret word of the day for an in-store discount
You may not get the same reaction as a snow-day cancellation, but you can’t go wrong with an unexpected token of appreciation.