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Established Contributor
jamie123
Posts: 874
Registered: ‎03-22-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

This is the link to the original article. I had forgotten a few of the details but the gist of the article is the same.

 

Here's the link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0



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Kr33ker
Posts: 143
Registered: ‎04-11-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

I don't see what's wrong with companies using this information.

 

If you call customer service that often that you would be labeled this way, there is definitely something wrong on your end. Basically you are either never happy and/or always trying to have your bill reduced. Even if they do lower your cost, there is a good chance you wil call the next month complaining again. They want to lower someone's cost so they are happy for the next year+, not for a month.

 

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OwNt
Posts: 62
Registered: ‎10-07-2007
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

I see nothing wrong with excessive customer calls causing the customer's account to become less valuable. Frequent calls from the same customer cost time and money, and each time a customer calls the CSR typically has to read all the previous notes on the account.

 

Also, the customer is not always right. I used to work in a call center doing tech support, and that cliche grew old after the first month.

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CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

[ Edited ]

Revelate wrote:

I worked in a number of customer service and other customer-facing organizations, including in management positions.  I'm going to take a semi-devil's advocate position on this and focus on the business case for a company doing this.

 

Customer service costs money to an organization.  One can argue that if we're paying a AF that it should cover such things, but when it comes down to the bottom line, the people who call more often, are less proftiable than ones who call less (all other things being equal, transaction volume and aggregate spend for the sake of the discussion on a credit card forum).  Customer service resources are not infinite, taking up a larger slice of the pie, costs the organization more than some customer who's taking whatever the average, or expected, amount is.  Similarly someone who rarely if ever calls, is likely more proftiable than the theoretical average customer too.

 

I've been in places where we had one client as 50% of our revenue, but 80% of our total expenses.  Should've kicked them to the curb: it would've slashed our revenue in half, but our earnings ratio would've gone way up and that's not even including the fact we would've been better focused on the rest of our customers too.

 

In any situation if you're losing money (or even not as profitable with) on a customer, it's in one's business interests to encourage them to be a customer somewhere else.  When it comes to credit cards where lenders live or die in the margins, I don't see it as being unreasonable to incorporate number of CS calls into some sort of internal customer retention algorithm.  I know it's an unpopular opinion, but it's just a sound business decision.  


+1. This is exactly right. As a customer you exist to generate revenue, and in return you are provided a service. If all you're doing is generating a loss through excessive use of services, they really don't need you. There are plenty of companies who would love to get rid of non-profitable customers but can't due to fear of discrimination lawsuits.

 

I've seen many people complain about how they're going to leave their bank and open up their savings account somewhere else. What they don't understand is that when they only have $200 in their account, the bank manager is looking, listening and thinking "good riddance, you're costing us more than you're actually making." It's not limited to banks either, but some people just don't know how the game is played. If you're a financial nobody, you can't go around demanding things like you're a firm's sole client. There will always be people who want steak for hamburger prices. The answer? Kick them to the curb when you can get away with it, and discourage them subtly when you can't. Eventually some will get the hint, and this will increase your bottom line.

 

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Cdnewmanpac
Posts: 767
Registered: ‎01-16-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?


CreditScholar wrote:

+1. This is exactly right. As a customer you exist to generate revenue, and in return you are provided a service. If all you're doing is generating a loss through excessive use of services, they really don't need you. There are plenty of companies who would love to get rid of non-profitable customers but can't due to fear of discrimination lawsuits.

 

I've seen many people complain about how they're going to leave their bank and open up their savings account somewhere else. What they don't understand is that when they only have $200 in their account, the bank manager is looking, listening and thinking "good riddance, you're costing us more than you're actually making." It's not limited to banks either, but some people just don't know how the game is played. If you're a financial nobody, you can't go around demanding things like you're a firm's sole client. There will always be people who want steak for hamburger prices. The answer? Kick them to the curb when you can get away with it, and discourage them subtly when you can't. Eventually some will get the hint, and this will increase your bottom line.

 


Agreed. When people post on this forum about what they can do for X issuer to "like" them, the answer is always the same: give them money. Public companies exist to maximize shareholder profit. If the "the customer is always right" approach maximizes shareholder profit, then it is the right approach. But the former founder/CEO of Southwest Airlines is famous for saying the customer isn't always right, his employee is. That attitude, and willingness to defend his employees in the face of absurd customer demands, is part of what has led to the incredible retention rates and low turnover that Southwest has maintained over decades. That retention rate, in return, has clearly contributed to Southwest's economic success. 

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atarvuzdar
Posts: 375
Registered: ‎01-20-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?


Cdnewmanpac wrote:

CreditScholar wrote:

+1. This is exactly right. As a customer you exist to generate revenue, and in return you are provided a service. If all you're doing is generating a loss through excessive use of services, they really don't need you. There are plenty of companies who would love to get rid of non-profitable customers but can't due to fear of discrimination lawsuits.

 

I've seen many people complain about how they're going to leave their bank and open up their savings account somewhere else. What they don't understand is that when they only have $200 in their account, the bank manager is looking, listening and thinking "good riddance, you're costing us more than you're actually making." It's not limited to banks either, but some people just don't know how the game is played. If you're a financial nobody, you can't go around demanding things like you're a firm's sole client. There will always be people who want steak for hamburger prices. The answer? Kick them to the curb when you can get away with it, and discourage them subtly when you can't. Eventually some will get the hint, and this will increase your bottom line.

 


Agreed. When people post on this forum about what they can do for X issuer to "like" them, the answer is always the same: give them money. Public companies exist to maximize shareholder profit. If the "the customer is always right" approach maximizes shareholder profit, then it is the right approach. But the former founder/CEO of Southwest Airlines is famous for saying the customer isn't always right, his employee is. That attitude, and willingness to defend his employees in the face of absurd customer demands, is part of what has led to the incredible retention rates and low turnover that Southwest has maintained over decades. That retention rate, in return, has clearly contributed to Southwest's economic success. 


LOL and that's why I don't fly Southwest anymore. Having witnessed more than one stewardess tell passengers to "Find a seat NOW or I'll find one for you and you'll live with it for the rest of the flight" (on different flights during the same round trip, for reference) I will never fly Southwest again. I would say that particular CEO's comments have emboldened some--not necessarily all--of his employees to the point of unacceptable behavior.

 

But I digress...

 

The customer may not always be right in reality, but a company should still recognize that good customer service is not only necessary for customer retention, but it's just the right thing to do. Yes, there are certainly boundaries to what a company should be expected to do and/or put up with from its customers, but a company should certainly strive to provide good service to a paying customer.

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