An estimated five million homes in the United States lost power when Hurricane Irene worked her way up the East Coast. Although there is nothing anyone can do to stop Mother Nature’s wrath, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) did its best to keep its customers in the loop with updated, continuous information through a predictive dialer.
A predictive dialer is a computer-based dialing system that has the ability to make multiple outbound calls quickly, pulling from a database of phone numbers that connect to a variety of communication and telephone lines. The configuration and the amount of agents using this system will affect how many calls the dialer places per hour.
Right before the storm was scheduled to hit, more than 1.2 million BGE customers were sent a message that warned them about the storm and told them ways in which they should prepare through a pre-recorded predictive dialer phone message, an article revealed.
In addition, the article detailed that the company’s website was comprised of a dedicated “storm center” page that acted as a one-stop-shop for customers searching for contact information, press releases, links to the outage map and crew locations, videos and photos of damage and restoration efforts, and safety tips for before, during, and after the storm had passed.
Diane Hughes (News - Alert), director of social media and web engagement at BGE said in a statement, “Customers could check the locations of our crews. Utilities typically provide an outage map, but we found having an actual list of crew locations very helpful. We wanted to let customers know that even if they did not see trucks in their neighborhood, we were still working to power to their area.”
“It was a long restoration process and customers relied on having as much communication and understanding as possible,” Hughes added.
Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Rich Steeves