It’s that time of year again! Sunday, March 11th marks the date that North Americans will “spring forward” in 2018. Though this date varies around the world, Canada, Mexico and the US have honored Daylight Saving Time on the second Sunday of March for the last century. Many credit Benjamin Franklin with the original idea to adjust clocks to conserve energy—or “candle power”—in 1784, though this proposal was actually intended to be a joke. Daylight Saving Time was first seriously introduced in North America during WWI and then implemented year-round during WWII, as an energy-saving measure to give round-the-clock defense plant workers an extra hour of sunshine at the end of their dayshift, as well as decrease overall fuel-use in homes. Today, Daylight Saving Time is used in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over 1 billion people each year.
Daylight Saving Time is not without controversy. In fact, when Floridians reset their clocks on March 11 it will likely be the last time and many other jurisdictions have also done away with this tradition altogether. The controversy is mainly because it’s original purpose—to save both human and fuel-source energy—has little merit. A 2008 study found that setting clocks ahead resulted in either no fuel savings or, as reported by some independent groups, an actual increase in energy demand . Still the most compelling evidence against Daylight Saving Time is the negative side effects on people due to the modification of the relationship between clock time and solar time, and the general disruption of circadian rhythm. Some even argue that Daylight Saving Time is “literally killing us”. The Monday following the spring time change has reliably seen a 24% spike in heart attacks and short term increases in strokes (8%), fatal car accidents (6.3%), workplace injuries and potentially even suicides.
Love it or hate it, Daylight Saving Time is here to stay in most locations—at least, for now. So, with all the known behavioral effects of Daylight Saving Time, why not use this seasonal shift to your advantage? Consider the following 3 ways you can use Daylight Saving Time to improve your customer experience.
Anticipate Your Customers’ Needs
Daylight Saving Time marks the unofficial start of spring for many and it has been proven that the increased evening light inspires people to do more and naturally, spend more money. For Recreation, Tourism and particularly Retail organizations, this link cannot be ignored. Both BBQ and Golf industries have even requested an additional month of daylight-saving from Congress, arguing this month would be worth up to $100- and $200-million in revenue, respectively. Help your customers through the seasonal shift by anticipating their spring buying needs—before they arrive in-store.
Reach Customers Through Channels of Choice
A demonstrated lack of workplace productivity is to the advantage to online retailers. A series of 2012 studies found that employees are more likely to browse websites unrelated to their job in the week following the time change. Use this statistically-proven engagement timeline to reach your customer base with online content–be it special offers, event invitations or other marketing initiatives.
Inform & Support Your Customers
We know about the negative side effects of Daylight Saving Time—and particularly the spring time-change—on our physical and mental health. So as an Insurer, why not get proactive with your communication? Inform customers about the risks associated with the time change and provide practical tips to counteract, or at least reduce, the effects before they occur.
Still not convinced of the positive potential of Daylight Saving Time? Assist the adjustment of your own circadian rhythm by taking in sunlight early in the morning and making sure you’re in a dark environment in the evening, leading up to bedtime.
Want to learn more about how to proactively communicate with your customers? Call SPLICE at 1-855-777-5423 or click here.