We get notifications reminding us of our many things in our daily lives, such as dentist appointments, package deliveries, or the expected arrival time of the cable TV repair technician. There has been a dramatic increase in usage by the public sector - perhaps most notably regarding the Covid-19 vaccine. While attending the NACM (National Association of Court Management) in mid-July, we had some interesting conversations that underscored the importance of court notifications, the focus of this post.
Courts use notifications for a variety of things, including jury service reminders, hearing reminders, payment reminders, collections notices and more. When it comes to criminal cases, nationwide, 35% of defendants fail to appear for court dates. As a result, warrants are issued, people are detained for days weeks depending on the nature of the charges, and the court date is rescheduled. This slows down an already backlogged system, and the cost of issuing and serving warrants and detaining people is staggering. Courts that have implemented hearing reminders have experienced a reduction in failures to appear, and since the cost of each reminder is pennies, it is a valuable tool.
Payment reminders are an effective way of improving cash flow. Collections notices are also effective because most people want to avoid being sent to a collection agency and courts want to avoid this because a significant percentage of the revenue is often retained by collection agencies - as much as 25% or more. Jury reminders are now offered by jury management system providers and IVR system providers alike, and help to improve jury yields.
By selecting the right solution for your needs and following best practices, the impact and value of these reminders will be optimized. We will cover this topic on a future post.