Not-for-profit organisation Fair For You has reported a fivefold increase in the number of families making applications for ethical credit after employing a multichannel strategy which makes it easier for customers to get in touch.
Fair For You is an award-winning service that provides families who do not have access to mainstream credit the ability to purchase essential items for their home on flexible plans, once an affordability check has been carried out to make sure it is right for the customer. This avoids people with less disposable income needing to take out high interest loans for important household items.
Keen to create the best customer experience possible, the charity owned Community Interest Company teamed up with messaging expert Esendex, to implement SMS messaging and facilitate custom-centric communications across its departments, without the need for additional personnel or complex software.
Household finances can often be a sensitive subject, and statistics show that almost seven in ten people struggling financially don’t talk about their problems, so Fair For You wanted to find a way to communicate to their customers that made them feel more comfortable than picking up the phone or having access to a computer.
They chose to use SMS as it is widely available and familiar to most and allows flexible communication around busy work and childcare schedules. Since turning to SMS messaging as a primary method of communication, Fair For You has received five times more applications for credit than it did through email alone. Two-way messaging also ensures the not-for-profit is able to service more customers, more effectively, while maintaining an exceptional level of service.
Steve Merry, head of technical operations at Fair For You, said: “We needed to make it so our service is accessible to all and accommodating of customers with varied circumstances, as well as recognising that customers are not always able to answer phone calls during the day.
“Because Esendex was able to integrate SMS messaging seamlessly with our existing systems, we were also able to meet the business objective of being able to automate processes to provide streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective services to customers”.
Laura Brown, marketing lead at Esendex, added: “It has been a pleasure to work with Fair For You and to hear that the project has been a success and seen a significant increase in applications from families in need of better, more ethical credit solutions.
“Customers now have access to so many communication channels, with their own preferred way of getting in touch with a business or service; organisations must recognise this and begin to diversify from an email-only approach to one that encourages active two-way conversations”.