Getting in Front of the Storm | Weather and Inbound Customer Communications

Posted by Natalie Davis on Wed, Jul 03, 2013 @ 08:07 AM

 

When severe weather hits, many consumers don’t have access to the resources and services they rely on. Whether a customer is out of power, has a delayed flight, can’t pick up a prescription or can’t receive a package, customer service across all industries remains vital when weather is a factor. So why wait until it hits, get out in front of the storm and the ensuing wave of communications from your customers demanding answers and action.

C  Users nkdavis Desktop Storm cloud (grays)

 

Being proactive means being a true customer advocate

Reaching out to your customers before they have to reach out to you is a great way to improve customer satisfaction by providing a higher level of service. But don’t stop there; continue to inform your customers throughout and even after a weather event to reduce their frustration with your company, ease their anxiety and help them to comfortably weather the storm.  

Here are several examples of helpful proactive communications:

  • Safety and Preparedness Tips

  • Store Closings & Modified Hours of Operation

  •  Service Delay Notifications

  • Timely Status Updates

  • Emergency Contact Information and Instructions

Immediate Benefits:

By reaching out to your customers before they have to contact you, not only will you make them happy, you may also see a reduction of inbound calls, the strain on your call center and the resources needed to operate it. While you can never head off every call, and really why would you want to?  You want to provide the service your customers want and expect from you. If you can reduce costly inbound calls by a small percentage – wouldn’t that be worth it?

This goes farther than the call center.  Your PR and marketing department is also on deck during events like these.  They are preparing a multitude of communications for your upset, stranded and/or self-described “under-served” customers around the clock.  Do them and your customers a favor and enable them to be proactive.

Long Term Benefits:

During weather events and the disruption of service that ensues, your clients are using social media to read and talk about you and your great service or the lack thereof.  Your actions and or reactions to what to your customers consider a critical event will undoubtedly be the difference between favorable reviews or tongue lashings, that as mentioned above will undoubtedly have your PR and marketing departments scrambling. 

By communicating with your customers before, during and after a weather event, you give them peace of mind and build the foundation for a trusting relationship that will stand the test of time, and even a tornado.

For more information, please review our communication kit - Proactive Communications Around Storms. This kit provides best practices and sample messages that may help your team quickly communicate important information to your customers before, during and after a weather event.

Tags: Communication Strategy, Storm Season, Customer Satisfaction, Proactive Communication, Weather