Actionable Alerts

Actionable AlertsWhich is more valuable: An order shipped notification, or an order delivered notification?

According to┬ásome ┬ápatient focus groups I observed earlier this week, it’s the order delivered notification. I was surprised by this at first. After all, you can tell an order is delivered because it physically appears at its destination. However, the reason why it was perceived as valuable was this: An order delivered notification allows people to take action. An order shipped notification only allows people to plan for future action.

In the case of the focus group participants, the order in question was an expensive cold-chain pharmacy product. They said things like “When my order gets delivered, I know to text my husband to grab it off the porch and put it in the fridge,” or “I will leave work on my lunch break if I get that notification.”

Ironically enough, in the middle of the focus groups I received an alert from Amazon that my laundry detergent had been delivered to my apartment. And it made me realize that the focus group participants had hit on an important insight. The most valuable alerts allow you to take action now.