Cool Pager Idea – Using Text Messaging

Have you ever been to a restaurant and had to sit and wait with a frisbee size pager with red led lights flashing to notify you when your table is ready? A new company called ReadyPing has a web-based solution that is not only a winner for restaurants, but many other service-based businesses.ready-ping-logo

ReadyPing allows restaurants to easily send their customers a text message when their table is ready.

ReadyPing is an easy-to-use, cost-effective, text message notification service utilizing hardware that restaurants and consumers already have; computers with Internet access and mobile phones. The fact that people always have their phones with them is a key reason for businesses to capitalize on the mobile medium for a variety of consumer services. Furthermore, there is no reason for a restaurant or any other business to invest in a pager system when customers already have a paging device in their pocket.

It only takes a few moments to create an account and start using ReadyPing to check in guests who must wait for a table. The host simply enters their name, party size and mobile phone number. The system adds names to the Waiting List in the order they are entered and tracks how long they have been waiting. When a customers table is ready, the host clicks a button next to their name and a text message is instantly sent to their mobile phone letting them know the host is waiting to seat them. This allows customers to roam wherever they wish (inside or outside the restaurant) until their table is ready.

With ReadyPing there is:

  1. No hardware to buy
  2. No software to install
  3. No pager equipment to maintain

Because it is web-based it could be used by a wide range of other businesses. Automotive related retailers could set up customers who are out shopping while their tires are changed or car repaired. Hair salons could text their clients that their stylist is ready. A shoe repair or sewing company in a mall could text their customers when their shoes or pants are ready.

I can hardly wait until this comes to Canada.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim says:

    readyping uses SMTP gateways to send text messages for free. This means that when you enter a customer’s phone number, you also have to enter his cell phone carrier. The service is not interactive. There’s no way for a customer to reply to the SMS. There’s no support for voice calls.

    Check out QLess at http://waitinginlinesucks.com for a much more mature product offering. QLess is interactive, supports both voice calls and SMS, provides customers with forecast wait times, and provides detailed analytics.

  2. Clientxt says:

    Text message advertising is the future and Clientxt is leading the way!

    How effective is text message advertising?
    Super Effective! Expect 1 in 4 customers to opt in to receive text message advertisements.

    How much does text message advertising cost?
    Super Inexpensive! The cost to reach one customer is only $0.05… you do the math!

    How well do text message advertisements convert?
    Super Conversion! You can expect that an average of 15% of your active subscribers will take you up on your mobile coupons, meaning that out of 100 active subscribers (people that receive your text message advertisements), 15 will buy products from you as a direct result of receiving your text messages.

    What ROI does text message advertising offer?
    Super Returns! Expect your ROI to be somehwere between 150% to 600%!!

    Why should I use text message advertising?
    Super Sales! We know that after you use our service, you’ll always devote at least 10% (and more if the text ads weren’t so cheap!) of your marketing budget to text message advertising. People receive instant advertisements straight to their mobile phones and can redeem them instantly! Just think of the possibilities! Think of the potential!

    For a quick demo, text ‘info3’ to 41513.

    Text message advertising is here! And Clientxt is leading the way!

  3. Dennis says:

    I’ve seen a few restaurants in Chicago use this. Works great! And their phone number is always on the text. So if you need more time, just click on the number and dial them up. So what if you can’t text them back. Is the hostess really going to be able to keep track of incoming text messages with everything else going on up front?

  4. Chris says:

    So how does the restaurant obtain the customer’s cell phone number? By asking for it. The customer states their phone number out loud. The creep who standing in line makes a mental note of the phone number. Seems to be a security risk to me…especially for women.

  5. ReadyPing says:

    ReadyPing uses SMS short code messaging (the 5 or 6 digit codes you have undoubtedly seen) and supports nearly 30 mobile carriers in the U.S. There is no need to select a mobile carrier when a mobile number is entered into our system.

    ReadyPing is much more than a text alert service; it is a powerful management tool. View overdue customers at a glance, keep track of reservations/appointments and determine the accuracy of their quote times – all from one simple and intuitive user interface. We work with a dozen different types of businesses including restaurants.

    Our web-based software works with any web browser on any computer. The cost is $49 per month, per location. Each text message is $0.05 and they are offered in reloadable bundles. When the balance drops below a certain level, texts are automatically reloaded based on the chosen bundle. No leaving money on the table at the end of the month for unused texts. It’s a pay-as-you go model.

    ReadyPing just won the 2010 MIT Whiteboard Challenge. Check out our news page at http://www.readyping.com/news to see what else we’ve been up to.

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