Like most people, I order a lot of stuff off the Internet, and I have an automatic renewal set for a lot of them, including magazine and on-line newspaper subsriptions, software (like the software that I use to write this blog) and even energy bars.
But I don't always remember what I've set to "auto-renew," until I receive the order confirmation from the company. In other words, they "remind me" by sending me an email, notifying me that they've just charged by bank account or my credit card.
I recently received a reminder from the Daytimer Company (see below). Instead of waiting until after they shipped the product and charged me for it, they're telling me before they ship, and before they charge me.
In other words, they're giving me an opportunity to change my order, or even opt out, if I choose to.
Now, I suspect that most companies don't take that approach for fear that they'll lose customers, and lose revenue. That's certainly a valid concern, but it's clearly not a customer-focused approach.
Daytimer is being more customer-focused, by being more transparent. And I respect that in a vendor. Sure, they may lose a few renewals, but I suspect they'll gain a lot more trust.
Go ahead, Daytimer - process my order and charge my credit card - I'm glad to continue doing business with a company that's up front with me.
The point is this:
If a customer will be impacted by somethign you're about to do, notify the customer. Even if you're not contractually bound to notify the customer, do it because the customer would want to know. Do it for the customers' sake - not for your own.
Because that's what customer-centricity is all about.