January 29, 2018

Reducing Cognitive Capacity With Auto-Reminders

We were approached with a simple problem – our client wanted to be reminded when their current customers hadn’t ordered for a while so that they could follow up with them and increase recurring revenue.

This client was already using an application to track their orders, but it didn’t have the functionality to remind them to follow up with a client if they hadn’t ordered for a while. Also, one other functionality required was to have the ability to turn off if they wanted to track that client or not.

For the technically minded, the current application they were using was using Firebase as a back-end, which made it very easy for us to integrate with it using Python.


We wrote a simple script in Python of about 50 lines that did the following.

  • Made a list of all the completed orders, and who those orders were placed by.
  • Removed everyone from that list that had ordered within the last 30 days.
  • Removed everyone from that list that the client had decided they didn’t want to track.***
  • Sent an email at 4am each morning with a list of people that hadn’t ordered for 30 days for our client to follow up with.

We considered adding the functionality to automatically email the client if they hadn’t ordered and not leave it up to a human to do when they got into the office, but we decided it would be better to allow the human to discern if they wanted to follow up or not. In smaller businesses, nuance is very important, so it was crucial that the staff member tasked with following up with the client that hadn’t ordered was able to personalise the emails and make sure that it was an appropriate time to send it (Imagine you know a client is in hospital, and then your email automatically goes off to them and asks them why they haven’t ordered – disaster).

***To add the ability for the client to decide who they would like to track or not, we had to add a field into the ordering system so that our script could filter out the ones that need not be tracked.

It was a small project, but it allowed the client to rest easy knowing that they would know if clients were no longer ordering. As a small business, it’s important to free up cognitive capacity so that you can focus on other things that add value to your clients.

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