With social media all the buzz traditional mobile technology doesn’t always get the limelight, particularly in high-income, highly industrialized countries. Yes, you can and should consider chat bots built with WhatsApp and other chat technologies—that’s why we at engageSPARK support chat bots—but SMS and IVR have been and remain very relevant today.

To make that point, we’ve collected a few articles from the news where text messages or voice calls have been used to conduct surveys or blast out information.

Japan: SMS and IVR Surveys to poll citizens

What are Japanese citizens thinking about the government, the cost of living, covid-19 measures? That’s what the Mainichi Shimbun and Japan’s Social Survey Research Center wanted to find out. In an article titled “Support for Kishida Cabinet drops to 48% as price increases hit Japan: Mainichi poll”, they presented their findings.

How did they go about surveying people? Japan is in love with gadgets and high-tech. And still, when the researchers were polling consumers and citizens they used SMS and voice calls:

The survey was conducted using both text messages (SMS) on mobile phones and an automated voice response system on fixed-line phones.

United States: The NYPD uses text messages for feedback surveys

In a press release titled “NYPD Launches New Text Message Surveys to Improve Service to New Yorkers”, the New York Police Department announced a way for people filing a criminal complaint to give feedback.

Starting in September, 2021, New Yorkers who have filed a criminal complaint will receive a text message with a link to a customer service survey.

Why SMS? Presumably because text messages are just very inclusive. If you want to reach everyone, then SMS—and not Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or an online survey that needs internet access—is the way to go.