Wednesday, May 21, 2008

True Or False: Companies Lie To Their Customers

Take a major international credit card company I’ve recently reluctantly been communicating with.

They launched a new card in America – I thought it was cool, I went to their website to submit an enquiry to ask when / if it would be released in Australia. I wanted this card and I wanted to give them more business.

To follow was their response (which to read I had to click on a link in an email, log into a website and click twice more to read):

Dear :

Thank you for taking your valuable time to e-mail us. Your association with (XYZ) is highly appreciated.

I would be glad to assist you with your inquiry regarding (the new) card however, please be advised that you have reached the e-mail center in the United States. I am unable to assist you with your inquiry as your account is a Australia based account and we do not have access to your account records, nor we are trained to navigate your account. Therefore, for immediate assistance, please contact us at (insert American phone number) and a trained representative will provide you immediate assistance.

Please be informed that you are a Valued Cardmember, we are sensitive towards your concerns. Therefore, please be assured that we will do our best to most effectively understand your needs and more quickly handle your request.

I apologize for any inconvenience this matter has caused you and appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.

We look forward to hearing from you so that we may effectively resolve your inquiry.

XYZ staff member

This company’s lie? Saying I’m a valued or appreciated customer! If I actually was a valued cardmember:
• Perhaps their communication might have said “Dear Kirsty” instead of Dear blank
• Perhaps knowing I was in Australia they wouldn’t have sent me American phone numbers
• Perhaps they may not have sent me another equally useless communication after I responded to this one
• Perhaps instead of telling me how valued I was, they might have shown it by actually finding out the information I required and letting me know it

Tell your customers they’re valued all you like. But if your communications and your actions don’t scream it in every single way they’re not going to feel valued.

My gym makes me feel valued when I walk in and the check in counter is busy and they call me by name, wave me through and tell me they’ll fix up my sign in for me.

My post office makes me feel valued when they’re frantically upset that they don’t have my phone number on file to let me know about an express post parcel that arrived a few minutes after we collected our mail.

And yet neither my post office nor my gym have ever felt the need to sent me correspondence telling me I was “valued”. I feel it because of their actions, day in and day out.

Which would you prefer? Customers who can read that their valued or customers who feel valued?

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments


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