Why do I have to yell and throw a â€œhissy fitâ€ when I need a corporate customer service organization to do the right thing?Â Is it really that customer service is dead or is it something more sinister â€“ is their CRM system telling the service rep on the other end of the line that I am not one their most valuable customers and therefore I can be f*cked with mercilessly?
Anyone who has been reading this blog long enough already knows that I skirt the edge of professional paranoid.Â However, I think I may have hit upon the true reason that I never receive good (or even halfway decent) customer service â€“ I have a low â€œlifetime valueâ€ as a customer.Â In fact, I probably cause most of my vendors to lose money in maintaining me as a customer.
As a professional marketer, I almost never respond to direct mail or other advertisements in a vendorâ€™s attempt to upsell me to a more expensive item or service.Â Rather, I spend a few minutes dissecting the piece for its relative merits and faults before I toss it away.Â But this Lifetime Customer Value thing is big business and I think it is undermining the very thing it was originally designed to support â€“ personalized service.Â When 1-to-1 marketing was first promoted, it focused on how to increase the value of your customer base by serving or anticipating their needs better.Â Now it is about culling the fattest calves from the herd and sh*tting on the rest.
The vendors that provide me with truly personal service I reward with not only my loyalty but with referrals and testimonials.Â The ones that treat me like a number and a set of behaviors I ditch at the first opportunity and steer people away from every chance I get.Â I realize that it is unfashionable to have customer service agents that actually care about resolving a customerâ€™s issue or speak English as a first language.Â And until we as consumers
rise up as one and slay the evil market whores vote with our dollars on a large scale we will have to yell and throw stupendous verbal fits in order to get our lifetime value returned.