I read a great blog from Max Pucher trying to use his thousands of airmiles as Senator Gold Card holder on Lufthansa, when they decided to take both barrels and aim them squarely at their foot. One sentence sums it up.
The lady said: ”I am very sorry, sir. I cannot give you your PIN without your PIN.’
The story is sadly true in industry after industry where they are confusing the relationship between customer service, efficiencies and profit margin. The search for cost reductions they are driving their highest margin customers away. Bizarrely, the Apple store selling a “commodity” ie consumer electronics has lots of people eager to help you buy more stuff…. and have become one of the most valuable companies around.
I spoke at an event last week where I said CRM stands for Customer REJECTION Management. There are 3 strategies which are driving a bigger gap between you and your customers, and with it the vital conversations that allow you to continously improve:
1. outsourcing. Let someone else screw your customer relationships in the interest of cost savings
2. self-service. Let customer get frustrated on their own and you never need to be bothered.
3. social marketing. Let their ‘network of friends’ solve their problems so you never know you need to fix them.
Every one is driven by cost savings. NOT ONE is about improved customer advocacy.
Does this sum it up?