Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Coldwater Creek - Another Dumb Customer Service Policy

Coldwater Creek provides the latest example of just plain dumb business practices that only serve to make consumers angry.   Another bait and switch example. 

Now they are out of business!

In our book, Negotiate Anything!, we devote an entire chapter to "Just Plain Dumb Business Practices" and this one by Coldwater Creek qualifies for this chapter in our next edition. 

My wife was online today and put a $79.99 item in her Coldwater Creek cart and a notice came up on the screen telling her that she qualified for FREE shipping.  She added another item to the cart going over $80.00 (to qualify for the coupon that provided $20 off if you spent $80).  

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chase Me Away From Your Bank

To attack (I meant to say attract) new customers, Chase is now charging $5.00 to get $20 out of one of their machines if you aren't a current customer. Now there is a brilliant trial promotion. Their CEO of banking says he feels good about it.
Chase's Pay $5 to get $20 scheme

In our book, Negotiate Anything!  Secrets to Make Companies Treat You Fairly, one of the tenets is when you have no other options with a business, "Do not reward bad behavior".   You need to switch to a competitor.  Chase is implementing one bad behavior after another.  These work against the consumers best interest.  

Here are some alternatives:
  • Find another ATM with a lower fee. Do not reward bad behavior by Chase.
  • Buy something from a grocery store (gum) and get cash back.
  • Use free ATM's.
  • Change banks... run from Chase.  Essentially they are giving consumers the finger (sorry to be so blunt).
  • Heck, the money store or check and go's cost less than Chase.  Chase is the new bottom feeder.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

10 Simple Ways to Make Customers Feel Good

Recently I was at a Target and upon checkout, I thanked the cash register person and their response was "Yup. No problem".  I thought, gee whiz, do they not train these people?

Here are 10 simple things you can say to customers to make them feel good about doing business with you. Notice that the first one is 1 one word, the second is 2 and so on.  I did not create this and do not know who did, but we keep it posted at work for everyone to see and live by.

Thank You
How did we do?
How may I serve you?
What is most convenient for you?
What else can I do for you?
I'm not sure, but I will find out.
Thank you for your business.  Please call us again.
I apologize for our mistake.  Let me make it right.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chase Is Elminating Rewards Points & Blaming it On The Government

Chase Eliminating Rewards From Their "Ultimate Rewards" Card

For a number of years, I've consulted with the 2nd largest global bank on card and other loan products -- many targeted at the sub prime market.  After several years of work, I was disgusted and haven't done any work with them since.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

12 Success Criteria to Establish Customer Service as a Core Business Driver

There are 12 Success Criteria needed to establish customer service as a core business driver. This article presents Success Criteria #1… the establishment of customer service as a core business driver.

All businesses seek to invest time and money in developing a sustainable advantage versus their competition. Two obvious choices are in product innovation and price. Both require investment in different areas. We’d all love to have our products or service locked up with long-term patents. However, after 30 years of working in consumer products with two world-class companies, this is difficult to nearly impossible to accomplish. There are simply too many smart competitors that can figure out how to design around your intellectual property. Have said that, occasionally companies do develop strong protection.

A Fish Stinks From The Head -Time Warner

I think the proverb "A Fish Always Stinks From The Head" is appropriate in this case.
Two and a half years ago we switched our business internet connection and phone service to Time Warner. We run a national call center and ecommerce site selling 3000 medical supplies (www.caregiverpartnership.com).
For two years, we experienced over 20 fully documented issues - outages and service interruptions lastly more than four days at times. We worked hard with local TW team members, but ultimately had to move to an alternative vendor.

Technology Is Killing Customer Service

What? That is outrageous you say? I first want to apologize for all those reading this that are under age 35. You have no idea what customer service excellence is because frankly, you haven't seen it.
You never experienced having someone pump your gas, check your oil and tire pressure and clean your windshield. 

You never experienced getting your ticket fast and efficiently from a trained ticket agent wearing a pressed suit and starched shirt or blouse.   Today, you are forced to navigae a kiosk and if you need help you might find a baggage handler who doubles as a agent.