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Regular Contributor
Posts: 201
Registered: ‎08-19-2012
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Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

Now, I'm just looking for insider information, based on what I experienced when I worked for AT&T Wireless in Warranty Exchange Dept, which we had a pretty decent relationship with the retention department.

 

If a customer wanted to cancel, there was an algorithm that figured out the customer's value. And this pretty much determined how much we was willing to do(discounts), before we finally said. 'Fine go to Verizon.'

 

1. One of those was cost of plan vs. phones. The person with 8 phones on a $200 plan, was extremely lower on the totem pole, than the one person on a $200 plan.

 

2. The second thing, was the system, kept a record of how often the customer called into customer service. Someone that habitually called in, we were reluctant to even keep. It was some internal system,(cost/benefit analysis), that pretty much figured out the guy with the $40 plan, but wasted manhours calling us once a week. If he every complained, less likely to do something for them, to retain them.

 

Every since I learned this, I'm been more prone to do everything online, and hardly ever call in, whether it's insurance or even my cell phone provider.


Does anyone have any insider information for credit cards, in this same realm? Whether it is for CLI or APR decreases?

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Senior Contributor
Posts: 6,260
Registered: ‎08-16-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

Hmmm that seems pretty odd and should be OUTLAWED. lol

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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 348
Registered: ‎08-17-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?


XxRaVeNxX wrote:

Now, I'm just looking for insider information, based on what I experienced when I worked for AT&T Wireless in Warranty Exchange Dept, which we had a pretty decent relationship with the retention department.

 

If a customer wanted to cancel, there was an algorithm that figured out the customer's value. And this pretty much determined how much we was willing to do(discounts), before we finally said. 'Fine go to Verizon.'

 

1. One of those was cost of plan vs. phones. The person with 8 phones on a $200 plan, was extremely lower on the totem pole, than the one person on a $200 plan.

 

2. The second thing, was the system, kept a record of how often the customer called into customer service. Someone that habitually called in, we were reluctant to even keep. It was some internal system,(cost/benefit analysis), that pretty much figured out the guy with the $40 plan, but wasted manhours calling us once a week. If he every complained, less likely to do something for them, to retain them.

 

Every since I learned this, I'm been more prone to do everything online, and hardly ever call in, whether it's insurance or even my cell phone provider.


Does anyone have any insider information for credit cards, in this same realm? Whether it is for CLI or APR decreases?


I'd never really thought much about this but am curious as well. I imagine most of this information and/or systems are highly confidential and proprietary in nature. 

 

It wouldn't surprise me at all if this was a factor (however minor) that goes into AMEX internal risk score calculations 

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Established Contributor
Posts: 930
Registered: ‎06-12-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?


XxRaVeNxX wrote:

Now, I'm just looking for insider information, based on what I experienced when I worked for AT&T Wireless in Warranty Exchange Dept, which we had a pretty decent relationship with the retention department.

 

If a customer wanted to cancel, there was an algorithm that figured out the customer's value. And this pretty much determined how much we was willing to do(discounts), before we finally said. 'Fine go to Verizon.'

 

1. One of those was cost of plan vs. phones. The person with 8 phones on a $200 plan, was extremely lower on the totem pole, than the one person on a $200 plan.

 

2. The second thing, was the system, kept a record of how often the customer called into customer service. Someone that habitually called in, we were reluctant to even keep. It was some internal system,(cost/benefit analysis), that pretty much figured out the guy with the $40 plan, but wasted manhours calling us once a week. If he every complained, less likely to do something for them, to retain them.

 

Every since I learned this, I'm been more prone to do everything online, and hardly ever call in, whether it's insurance or even my cell phone provider.


Does anyone have any insider information for credit cards, in this same realm? Whether it is for CLI or APR decreases?


They can go to hell. If I require assistance I am going to call as many times as I want. If I have time to call you, the company, you damn sure better have the time to talk to me, the paying consumer. This is why I'm willing to pay AF's for a CC with a high level of customer service and attention.

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Registered: ‎04-09-2011
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

@Jlu Totally agree!!! Customer is always right!



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Established Contributor
Posts: 766
Registered: ‎01-16-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

First, this is/was a pretty common practice for cell providers, but is less standard in many other industries. Sprint caused a flap a few years ago when they cancelled a bunch of customers for "abusing" customer service by calling too often. It makes everyone mad, but it made business sense for sprint. The margin for most cell contracts (especially ones with expensive subsidized phones) is pretty small. Staffing a customer call center is very expensive. At a certain point, the cost of keeping you as a customer can exceed the value of your contract. Why would Sprint want to keep customers that cost them money?

 

I am not aware of any organized effort in the credit card industry. However, in b school we did a case on capital one (I think from Ivey, but may have been HBR) that described their credit issuance system. It was fascinating, in that capital one keeps hugely detailed information on each customer and then constantly experiments in small groups to see what the results of different decisions are. For example, they may decide that the next 50 people who have a newcomers card for >1 year, a 500cl and have never carried a balance and call to ask to waive the annual fee will have their fee waived. They then deny the next 50. They then follow that 100 person group to see which group generates more profit. They do this constantly. One of the scenarios described in the case specifically mentioned that customers who called in frequently were often directed to negative customer service algorithms (deny cli, deny af waiver, deny upgrade), while customers who utilized the secure message or website to make requests were more likely to be directed to positive algorithms. This case is a few years old, but I think it both explains alot about customer experiences with capital one and also indicates that at least one cc company is paying attention to how frequently you call.

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,111
Registered: ‎07-29-2011
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

I call USAA whenever I have an issue/question/concern with one of their products.  And they always fix my issue, answer my question, or offer some kind of discount during the call.  I think full-members have a higher value there.  I do have a lot of products with USAA, so that may be it too.

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,963
Registered: ‎01-24-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

Just how often do you need to ring customer service anyway? Any business will evaulate if the customer is costing them money and if they are they will not want to do business with them anymore. Shipping companies charge you more if you go to the shipping center instead of buying postage online.

 

 


Jlu wrote:


They can go to hell. If I require assistance I am going to call as many times as I want. If I have time to call you, the company, you damn sure better have the time to talk to me, the paying consumer. This is why I'm willing to pay AF's for a CC with a high level of customer service and attention.


They never said they will not talk to you, they will just not be as willing to give a huge discount if you threaten to leave. Personally, I do not ring customer service to often at all. The only time I will is for a credit limit increase or to file a dispute for something. When I had a contract with AT&T (6 years), I only rang in maybe 6 times. A lot of those times were for warranty issues because the telephones kept dying. I have had the GoPhone for about a year and have not rang them once.

 

If someone constantly emailed me about a product I had sold them I may get irritated. If it is a technical problem and they want an exchange fine, but if it is something that they should not even be contacting me about, I would be hesitant to sell to them again. What is the point in keeping a customer if you lose money on them?

 

Of course everyone is different and if you really need to ring customer service fairly often, that is your choice.

Senior Contributor
Posts: 6,260
Registered: ‎08-16-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

Agreed!!! hah... guess we better take those surveys about customer service too

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Regular Contributor
Posts: 201
Registered: ‎08-19-2012
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Re: Calling Customer Service Too Much Lowers Your Value?!?

Never knew something public happened with Sprint...Found it though...

 

http://www.technologytell.com/gadgets/26177/sprint-may-cancel-your-service-if-you-call-customer-serv...

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