Customers in the Middle

As often happens the last post on customer service prompted a flurry of emails. Thanks to Philip for the ideas in this extended sequence as quoted below. In effect a guest post…

“Churn is a well known issue in the telecommunications sector but I was piqued by your comment, “In fact many companies treat all customers the same and that is a fatally flawed strategy”

Yes, I think that’s right too. But equally that’s hard to do and the bigger the company, with systems then the harder to start making exceptions.

So how does a company, medium or larger scale figure out if there something to this idea of treating customers different so that they would be encouraged to translate that into a business action.

I mean it has to ultimately make them some money – somewhere right, even if that initially only comes out as good news stories and praise as decent company ?

How does a company design a loyalty program? or a pricing scale?

or a something that acknowledges and rewards their long term customers?  so that even if the customer service wasn’t great one night/day/weekend, or there is a hot special with someone else, the customer still feels OK to do business with their long term provider.

I don’t think it’s an easily answered but the more I thought about it . . .

How about I counter that while your statement  “In fact many companies treat all customers the same and that is a fatally flawed strategy” appears to be right
– it is fact incorrect.
(dum-a-dum- dummmmm)

Big spending customers get volume discounts, so they ARE treated differently. New customers can get introductory offers to join, so they ARE treated differently, Seniors get a deal ???

So it’s the people in the middle, you are talking about here.

Not big spends in corporate terms, nor people who churn as a way of life as they hunt out deals) but just business people or maybe better put, busy people,  who cannot be blowed, to getting on to new platform, or phone etc  and reprogramming their handsets with all those numbers (do I really have her phone number after this many years?)

So is your point is that there is a market, I mean a dollar in keeping them right?

Now if you could figure out the numbers for that – that would be a business”
Philip

Thanks Philip – what do the rest of you think about this? I’d say that I am in the neglected middle part of the customer group. In my view there is more than a dollar in reaching this group and that is one of the ideas I  was trying to reach.

I still maintain a view that segmenting customers and offering segment messages is the way to go but the temptation is just to go for velocity and hope customers stay for the ride.