The Many Uses of USSD Part 1
USSD is part of our daily lives – without us noticing. Topped up data recently on your phone? You used USSD. Confirmed a money transaction on your phone? You used USSD. Entered a competition on your phone? Yup, USSD. It is simply everywhere!
USSD, or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, works on the principle that you participate in two-way communication (known as “pull” services) based on a menu of options and numbered responses, following a series of questions and answers presented by these. You are prompted to select an option which then leads to another set of options to narrow down your request, finally confirming what you want done. This process can be done in two steps or in many – it depends on what the USSD service is being used for. You also get “push” services where you get information about events, products, promotions, etc. via notifications.
So how can you use USSD in your business? We look at a few more ways you can make use of USSD.
Warnings and alerts
Insurance companies use this type of USSD-based notifications a lot, sending our weather alerts like storms, heavy rains and hail storm to warn clients to safeguard their property and vehicles.
Many companies inform their customers (via their database) of promotions and special offers via USSD notifications, following up with reminders of the promotion or sale.
News and sport updates
You can subscribe to services that use USSD to send messages to keep you up to date with the latest news and spots results, sending you short messages as events unfold.
Patients who take chronic medicine or who need to monitor their symptoms or vital signs can receive notifications or reminders to do so via USSD, as well as tips on how to manage their illness.
USSD has entrenched itself in our lives and is a fast and convenient method to communicate with customers. It lowers costs as it is extremely affordable to implement, and also is a less time-consuming form on instant communication with your customers.