Taking the guesswork out of replacement cards

12Apr11

Since one of my existing credit cards was scheduled to expire, it was no surprise that I received a new card to replace the old one. While the arrival of a new card was to be expected, the precise timing of the replacement was a mystery. Would I get it during the last month that the old one was still valid, or would it arrive several months ahead of time? And what should I do if it doesn’t show up in a timely fashion?

These may seem like irrelevant questions. After all, if the new card arrives before the old one expires, there’s no interruption in service. However, this manner of thinking ignores an important point: if customers don’t know when the replacement card is supposed to arrive, they also won’t know if the card has been lost in the mail — or worse, stolen.

The solution is quite simple. Credit card issuers should send an email to customers about a month before the new card is scheduled to be sent, which would include the expected shipment date and a reminder to update the mailing address if it’s no longer accurate. Then, when the card is actually sent out, send another email to the customer to let them know to be on the lookout for the new card, along with what to do if it hasn’t arrived by a certain date.

With this simple set of notifications, card issuers will make the card replacement process easier for customers, who won’t have to guess the status of their replacement cards. Plus, there will be fewer phone calls from people inquiring about when their new cards will be arriving, which helps bring down costs and frees up customer service reps to handle other activities.



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