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Checkatrade.com, an online business information provider based in the United Kingdom,
uses text messaging to contact their members.
Checkatrade was established in 1998 by local businessman Kevin Byrne after a tornado damaged
hundreds of buildings in Selsey, West Sussex. When homes were rebuilt after the storm, it was
difficult for homeowners to distinguish between the genuine and rogue traders who travelled to
Selsey. Checkatrade was started in order to protect homeowners from being deceived by rogue
operators and to help them make informed decisions when selecting a service provider.
Checkatrade’s business has grown since then, with over to 6,000 reputable trades and services
now registered on their business database.
As an independent third party, the company vets and monitors tradesmen who have applied to join
them as a member. Once they have passed all the membership criteria they are continuously
monitored by their customers through their workmanship and the service they have provided.
All their feedback is posted on the Checkatrade.com website to help other consumers.
Initially, Checkatrade sent confirmation of published feedback from the consumer to its members
by email. They also made phone calls to their members on a regular basis but it soon became apparent
that this process took time and was dependent on the trader having regular access to their computer
to receive emails or available to receive calls.
In 2007, Checkatrade realised that text messaging was a quicker way to contact their clients. This
allowed them to deliver customer feedback in real-time. Tradesmen were immediately made aware of
“Sending our trades and service providers a text message achieves an instant response unlike emails
or leaving a voice message,” says Kevin Byrne, CEO and founder of Checkatrade. “We don’t have to wait
for them to get home to check for messages. Now our trade members receive notifications from us by
text message every time new feedback has been left by one of their customers. They could be on a
building site and as soon as they receive that text they can act on it.”
Checkatrade partnered with BulkSMS.com, a leading text messaging service provider offering two-way
SMS communication services, to deploy its customer feedback solution and started using the SMS API solution in order to send SMS text messages to their registered trade members.
“In addition to this, from their online trader area our members can contact any of their customers
and send them a text message reminding them to send their feedback to us. We do not charge our
clients for this messaging service,” says Byrne.
Checkatrade have found text messaging invaluable for a quick response either to an individual
member or bulk to all of their members.
Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com, believes that “innovative business models
like Checkatrade shows that text messaging has become an integral part of communicating across an
entire value chain. The ability to send out instant communications whenever necessary and to know
that the message recipient has seen the message, and will take the appropriate action, is what makes
text messaging the most practical communication tool in their toolkit.”
For more information visit www.checkatrade.com or contact Checkatrade on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or tel: 0845 408 4866.