A couple of years ago, I went to Mexico for a wedding. I had a great time, many frozen daiquiris, and, (unrelated to the daiquiri consumption) my credit card number swiped. A side effect of Cabo San Lucas I thought. But it turns out that that credit card was connected to several things that I wasn’t even tracking including a monthly charitable donation and an auto-pay arrangement for my electric bill. I did my best to switch over all accounts but now that most bills are paperless and our email inboxes are either misconfigured or flooded, it’s easy to see how a slight change to an account can wreak havoc on auto-payments.
The next month, I got a call from the charitable organization asking me if everything was ok? My charge hadn’t gone through and they were calling to see if I was still interested in maintaining the monthly charge or needed to either cancel or adjust my recurring amount. Slight embarrassment that I might not be able to fulfill my obligations (it’s $10 monthly btw, so don’t think I’m a philanthropist) but nevertheless a great catch by the organization and excellent proactive outreach to keep their clients and donors happy and in good standing. On the other hand, my electric company did not reach out and for 90 days I thought everything was fine (it was summer in FL when this occurred, FYI). I got a noticeably irritated call from my spouse after returning home one August evening. I tried to make out what she was saying over the three dogs barking in the heat, but it sounded like the thermostat was at 92, the clothes in the dryer were growing mold rapidly, and the perishables were perishing as we spoke. A $750 Electric bill and 30 mins later (with connection fee) all was right in the world.
Why such a discrepancy in customer service? A simple phone call or text message from the electric company could have saved both of us time, effort and money while maintaining customer satisfaction and fostering confidence in their communication efforts and strategies.
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- Create Positive Customer Experiences with Proactive Outreach - March 9, 2020