In the world of agile software development and product management, the ‘user story’ is the guiding light on the path to building the best and most usable product. Or as a colleague of mine likes to say, “The #1 principle in building software is to make sure you are building the right thing.”

To determine we are staying on the path of ‘building the right thing’, Red e App creates new products and features with an ear to both customer admins – those who spend most of their days at desktop computers to get their work done – and our ‘end users’ aka the non-desk workforce, who uses Red e App daily to stay informed and ready for work.

Recently, we announced that Forms are now available in Red e App. Just as this was created based on the input and feedback of our customers, our newest feature is an additional layer of much-requested functionality by our customer admins.

Scheduling a Red e App message for future delivery has been a core feature since our early days of building Red e App. Administrators wanted to send messages during employee break times and shift changes, ensuring that their employees received timely, relevant messages. During breaks and shift changes, non-desk workers are almost always checking their smartphones for new notifications, accessing news and weather, and catching up on social media apps. Sending work-related messages during primetime phone viewing hours helps ensure that employees will read important messages from the company.

These targeted messages sent at precise times have proven to be valuable for all of our customers, but we wanted to help further automate repetitive messages and create more opportunities for personalized messaging.

Here’s what we heard from our customers:

“We love that we can schedule a broadcast or group message to be delivered in the future, but what about a scheduled message to an individual that is tied to a specific date, like a date of birth, hire date or even a compliance training renewal date?”

We dug deeper to better understand the need, asking:

“That’s an interesting idea. Why would that type of feature be valuable to you?”

Responses ranged from a desire to save large chunks of time, to increasing post-hire feedback survey completion rates, to decreasing the manual effort of reminding employees about upcoming compliance and work-related certification renewals. Saving time, increasing 2-way communication, and improving employee retention would be inevitable outcomes of this requested functionality.

After understanding what to build and why it would be valuable to our customers, we just needed to give this new feature a name. It had to convey the essence of the feature while being memorable and easy to explain. After much internal discussion debate (to be frankly honest about the process), we finally agreed on the name: SMART messages.

What is a SMART message?

SMART stands for Scheduled Message Automated at the Right Time.

SMART Messages are triggered by using dates from an employee list file. Many of our customers are already sending us key dates such as Hire Date, Date of Birth, or Compliance Renewal Dates, so they already have the framework in place.

What can you do with this feature?

As long as you have the data to drive your messages, the possibilities for SMART Messages are endless. Here are a few examples: 

Compliance reminders – provide employees with 30-60-90 days’ notice before they need to complete annual training to maintain compliance.

Post hire surveys – send a message 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months post-hire to get feedback on employees’ new-hire experience.

Employee recognition – acknowledge work/service anniversaries and birthdays.

New employee onboarding – send messages during an employee’s first few weeks at the company to share organizational history, HR tips, and reminders about key new-hire tasks that must be completed during a set timeframe.

Continuing education – remind employees about expiring Continuing Education Credits & provide recommended action steps

Effective communication is timely, relevant, and engaging. For years, Red e App has been empowering companies to send targeted communications to their non-desk workforce. SMART Messages take that targeting one step further by enabling companies to trigger messages automatically to the right people at precisely the right moment.