Summer storms have been particularly strong across the United States. During the month of May tornadoes and have wreaked havoc on much of the South and Midwest with the most tornadoes seen in one month in the last twenty years. The impact of these storms is further reaching than just the destruction they leave behind. According to a 2014 report by Climate Central 147 million customers lost power for at least an hour and often far longer in the last ten years and that number grew each year studied. The report also noted that 80 percent of all power outages can be attributed to severe weather.
As we head out of tornado season and into hurricane season it is important to look at how outbound proactive notifications can provide warnings during emergencies and help people prepare for the worst. Here’s a few tips for any company but especially utilities to communicate with customers during a crisis:
- Get permission from customers to contact them. Regulations limit how companies can communicate with customers without first opting-in.
- Allow customers to control the channel and types of communication they receive. Some might only want to know about outages via outbound communications while others might want bill pay reminders as well. Some might want text reminders while others prefer to be called.
- Design your proactive communication program with the customer experience in mind. A customer will be less agitated and more understanding if they receive proactive notifications instead of having to reach out to the provider. Ideally, these notifications would include an approximate estimate for service to be restored and updates would be given as service is restored or unfortunately, if complications arise.
Any proactive engagement program can be customized to your business needs. While the ultimate goal is to increase customer satisfaction, there can be other benefits as well including decreased inbound communications resulting in less stress on the workforce. Take a look at how Aspect can help you achieve your proactive communication goals: http://www.aspect.com/products/proactive-engagement-suite.