all watching the downward spiral of the global economy with trepidation
and making contingency plans. Our budgeted projects may be slashed. Our
headcount may be downsized. Our travel will be severely curtailed. Our
customers’ spending on our products and services will no doubt
decrease. But what’s the silver lining in a severe downturn? We have to
get innovative and resourceful. Here are some tips to consider:
Shift Policies to Trust Your Customers and Partners and Eliminate 30% of Business Friction
As we work with organizations and their customers to streamline customers' scenarios and to improve the customer experience, we find that some of the most customer-unfriendly practices are the result of deep-seated customer distrust on the part of the organization. Well-meaning corporate stewards have put policies and processes in place to prevent fraudulent behaviors in response to the actions of a minority of bad acting customers. Instead of using intelligent technology to identify the few real offenders, companies put elaborate blanket safeguards in place. These safeguards create friction and a lot of unnecessary work for your employees, your partners, and your customers. Our recent Customer Scenarios in a wide-variety of industries show dramatic opportunities to save money and increase revenues by shifting to a customer-trust model.
Create Trust-Based Policies; Isolate Offenders. Why not operate on the assumption that your customers and business partners are honest and will not knowingly steal from you or defraud you? Remove the costly and onerous hoops you currently make everyone jump through in order to use, share, restore, and enjoy the products and services you provide. Here are just a few examples of customer-unfriendly policies that annoy customers while increasing operational costs:
• Placing a multi-day hold on funds deposited at an ATM machine, forcing customers to come into the branches to make deposits so they can access their money (a common banking practice in several countries).
• Requiring that a serial number match a service contract number before you'll provide technical support or renew a support contract.