Customer Dissatisfaction by Design

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 Some marketing tactics give benefits in the short run but actually have negative effects in the mind of the customer in the long run.

While business enterprises continue to strive to focus on customer satisfaction which is most important to remain and grow in business, I see many policies and tactics which actually dissatisfy customers.  They are apparently marketing tactics, but I think this only displeases current customers and keeps away potential customers.dissatisfaction

 

Some of these tactics could be giving benefits in the short run, but I am sure will be counter productive in the long run.  Enterprises have to build trust and create a sense of reliability on the products and services to continue to battle the ever competitive markets. One of the displeasing activities and most notorious today is the telemarketing calls. It's not the concept of telemarketing which is bad, but the way the whole thing handled.

 
 

 

 

 

Let's look at an example of telemarketing offering loans and list out all that is done wrong. You might have had this experience:

  • You get a blank call form your bank, it's disgusting that the bank or it's agent calls you and asks for your name
  • Minutes after declining the loan offer, you get another call from the same bank offering loan. Sounds like a joke!!
  • A week later you call the banks official call centre ask for a loan, they don't seem to be that interested and reluctantly state all the documents that's required for the loan
  • In another case you get back to the caller and ask him to meet you, which he promptly agrees but never turns up.  You give a call back and there is another person on the other end asking you for all the details all over again.  By the time you give the details to several people over and over again, you decide it's better to make other arrangements for the money.
When debits gets bigger than the credits and a competitor comes by, one is sure to tag on to the competitor.

I don't see any scientific sampling and recording to ensure that disinterested people are not troubled with repeated calls and those interested get a follow up call and the case handled adequately.  I think this is total exploitation of the notional low labor and the goal seems to be to just make as many calls per day and doesn't really matter if someone is called repeatedly or if a positive response is not followed up promptly. I may be wrong but this is the impression I get from my experience.  It could also be that that whatever hit rate these enterprises get with using this approach is better than the amount spent, and hence are happy, but they are not really seeing the repercussions in the long run.

Every bad experience is a debit in out book of accounts of the respective organization and the good experiences are like credit

I see each of these bad experiences as a debit in out book of accounts of the respective organization and the good experiences are like credit. When debits gets bigger than the credits and a competitor comes by, one is sure to tag on to the competitor.

 
 

Let me state few other things which are like planned dissatisfaction measures. Things which are irritants and gives a bad feeling of the organization:

  • Misleading Direction - I have always notice that while making credit card payments using the electronic transfer, the default account from which payment is to be made is a credit account and not the savings account.  So if one in not alert he would be actually taking credit to clear another credit. Looks like a good marketing tactic, but at the loss of customer trust. Just like all the hidden costs associated during availing a loan, which eventually gets customers skeptical of the intentions of the bank.

 
  • Wrong or Poor Communication - I got a mail regarding my earned domestic miles and to redeem miles at the earliest, else I would loose them. I promptly bought a ticket and paid the tax amount.  When I decided to change the destination of my trip I called the airlines and made a request. I was asked to cancel the ticket and apply for a new ticket for the new destination. I requested the same by an email stating, "..cancel this ticket and book an another ticket instead".  I got a reply within two days that the ticket was canceled and the tax refunded, with no mention of re-issue.  I realized that I lost the miles  by cancellation and I didn't have sufficient mile to get another ticket.  I am still fighting this out, not sure if this is intentional or just lack of training.

 
  • Forced Default Options - There is an excellent facility to download a "hello tune" on your mobile phone which will indicate to the caller that one is out of the country.  This simply eliminates all the unwanted callers, especially the telemarketing calls. The not so happy part was, on a recent return home while I tried to reset the "hello tune" option, the default option was a tune of the service provider and not a normal  ring tone.  I find it difficult to re-set to no tune option, inspite of following the steps advised by the service provider.  I think this is an unnecessary irritant, minor though.

 
  • Suspecting Customers - Recently I witnessed an incident in a well know departmental store in Bangalore, the sales girl suspecting a gentleman of stealing. The man apparently put his cell phone back in his pocket and she suspected him of stealing a toilet soap or a cream or something really inexpensive.  The man was embarrassed and speechless and quietly walked out, while another lady customer regretted the act and asked the girl not to insult customers. I don't think he will again step into that store.

 

You will see from the examples above you will see that many things done at the intention of growing and protecting their business, is actually have negative effects in the mind of the customer in the long run.  I do hope that the enterprises become more sensible and also have some inclination to True customer satisfaction. 

 

Pradeep Kumar E.T. A Master Black Belt in Six Sigma , is theCountry Manager- Operational Excellence with Tyco Electronics Corporation India Pvt Ltd. Feedback can be e- mailed to pradeep@ businessgyan.com

 

Issue BG82 Jan 08

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