Compared to the phone, email yields a much better ROI.
Especially if you’re a cable operator. Because the time customer service reps spend on the phone adds up to lots of minutes — minutes that could be seconds if the information were conveyed electronically instead.
That’s why the Central Florida division of Bright House Networks set out to develop email as a more efficient and economic way to communicate programming changes, new products and special offers to its 850,000 customers.
Sounds good, right? Well, Bright House possessed email address for just 15% of its customers. Even though nearly two-thirds of Bright House subs have high-speed Internet service, many don’t use their provider email address as a primary email address. Plus, consumers don’t like to share their email address unless they get something out of it.
The solution was to offer an email confirmation for service when a customer called in, says Lauren Mott, Bright House Networks’ senior director for quality and customer care for Central Florida.
"That also generates a higher level of confidence for the customer that we got it right. So in turn customers aren’t calling as much to say, ‘What time is my appointment?’ or ‘What is my new rate?’ because they have it in their email," she says.
The email confirmation project, known as eConfirmations, officially kicked off in late October 2008. By April 2009 Bright House had collected email addresses for about half its Central Florida customers. Now the operator uses those email addresses for all business and residential customer communications too, such as payment information and payment reminders and for promotional offers, programming changes and channel additions. The reduced call time for housekeeping gives customer service reps more time to focus on sales opportunities, Mott adds.