At one large UK Council, parents applying for free nursery places were required to complete and return a form.
In common with all paperwork, it takes time to process the form as it has to be manually dealt with and passed between case officers and staff throughout the decision making process. This was resulting in an application response time of around two weeks.
The Council was also aware that completing forms is a real barrier for those with literacy problems and that these members of the community were the most likely to be entitled to free nursery places.
A simpler, more accessible and familiar way of triggering the application process would make sure that that the most disadvantaged children in the community did not miss out.
The Council was already tech-savvy, using social media to spread the word about the free child services available, so using text messaging seemed an obvious next step.
The technology was already in place
As part of a Business Communications project to improve customer service, adopt more efficient and remote working practices and make savings throughout their 100 operational sites, the Council had already invested in a ProcessFlows text messaging solution to enhance communications.