A missed opportunity for a great customer experience

Where I live in Dublin, Ireland there are multiple domestic waste collection companies and it’s a relatively competitive market. Last year I made the decision to move from one waste company to another for a variety of reasons. I won’t mention the names of the companies here, but those familiar with these services in Ireland will likely be able to identify them due to their contrasting customer service levels.

Both companies send SMS alerts the night before the weekly bin collection reminding their customers of which bin to leave out and when – in Ireland we have three bin types: grey for domestic waste, green for recycling and brown for organic compostable waste. Both companies provide an online system to view your bills. However the new provider goes a step or two beyond this.

My new service provider sends me a monthly email summarising my stats across each waste type versus their overall customer base. They send me weekly personalised SMS messages that details how much I recycled on my last collection. It’s a small thing, but it’s a nice customer experience that informs me about the level of waste I produce and how much recycling I do relative to the average customers.

What struck me in particular was with my old company and how they managed me after I left.

I haven’t yet returned my old bins – they’re sitting unused and empty in my driveway. My old waste collection company knows this – they track and weigh every bin lifted on one of their trucks. They have my email address and my mobile phone number, and I am opted in to receive their marketing emails and SMS’s. Why haven’t they called me? Why haven’t they SMS’d me? Why haven’t I been part of an email customer journey that tempted me to switch back with some special offer? I don’t get it. I’ve gone from being a customer, to very obviously not being one without so much as anyone from my original service provider contacting me through any one of three different methods they could have used to win me back. That’s a lost revenue opportunity for them. Failing that, they didn’t even learn anything about why I switched so they could tailor their services to future prospective customers. They didn’t detect when I was no longer using their service so they could give me instructions on how to have my old bins collected. In fact, they are waiting for me to call them. My guess is that they don’t have anyone looking at nor analysing their customer data to identify customers at risk of leaving, or ones that actually have. All in all a big fat fail, and a missed opportunity for increased revenues and a great customer experience.

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