You wake up in the morning to find you’ve received a text message on your phone with a flood warning from ‘Floodline’ — you know you’re registered to receive them. The message tells you which area is at risk and what the severity is. It’s helpful to have received the text, but how can you find out more detail on what’s happening now, and more importantly what is forecast to happen…?
Through continuous improvement of our service, the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales are improving the content of our text messages by providing direct links from our flood warning text messages to our audible flood warning information played through our Floodline service. This enhancement aims to bring our existing services closer together and provide a seamless customer offering that allows users to easily access advice through whichever channel works best for them.
What’s the conText?
Text messages have always been a key component of the flood warning service. We use texts to notify our users when warnings have been issued to allow them to take the appropriate action. At the same time, we update our messages on the Floodline Interactive Voice Response (IVR) service and the Flood Information Service on GOV.UK with location-specific real-time flood warning information.
Up until now, the text messages and IVR service have not been well joined-up. Users had to press a long series of buttons on their keypads to access the relevant advice.
The missing link
We have changed our approach and now use the outbound texts as the ‘hook’ to notify customers that a warning has been issued. We have improved the content of the texts with links that will now take users directly to the most relevant content on both GOV.UK and Floodline. This approach has several key benefits:
- It encourages users of our services to self-serve online or through our automated IVR
- relevant messages for the specific user are automatically played ensuring a slick service
- callers no longer need to make phone keypad choices or listen to lengthy menu’s, reducing stress in times of emergency
- the option to speak to a Floodline agent continues to be available for more complex queries and to provide human interaction and reassurance, meeting our assisted digital needs
- the Floodline IVR audio also now uses our new and improved Amazon Polly Neural Text-to-Speech technology
Text messages issued from the flood warning service will now appear on registered users’ phones in the following format:
Future improvements to the service
We will continue to review feedback on how our users interact with our various channels to ensure that we are providing the best service possible. You can sign up to our free flood warning service on GOV.UK, or by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.