Doing Something Really Stupid

Doing Something Really Stupid

August 15th, 2014 // 10:00 am @

Service ServiceEE the mobile phone provider also working under the brand name Orange, announced yesterday it will charge 50p if you want your customer service call answered as a priority.

This is a decision that is extremely short-sighted and one a capable CEO would have stopped.

It is worth remembering no one makes a stupid decision, all decisions look sensible to the people making them, however ridiculous they look to the outside world. So how did a company such as EE full of clever well meaning people make such a poor commercial judgement.

Such ideas do surface in meetings and have a core logic which goes “We will still supply the level of customer service we do now, so no customer looses out, and we just get extra revenue to give even better service to those who choose it”

This type of logic survives in the bubble of self-congratulatory internal meetings as long as it is never exposed to hard external logical opinion. It is in such situations more senior management and ultimately the CEO need to say, “Thank you, great thought, but not one the public are ready for”.

The decision will raise small amounts of money and is guaranteed to annoy your customers when they here of it, and every single time they contact your company. In essence every call to the EE customer service team will start with a nicely worded, “Do you want to spend 50p for us to actually answer your call, or do you want to be a second class customer” for that is how it will be heard by customers.

The poor staff in customer service will be faced with customers who have just had that communication from the company and will have to deal with even more upset customers, making their jobs even more difficult, and showing little regard for them.

And there is a deeper issue of integrity, which may trouble many within EE. When one calls customer service it is normally because the company has made a mistake, this is the only occasion I have ever called EE, and to be charging people to get an answer to a mistake EE made is a moral stance many within the company may not be happy with.

EE works in a very competitive market, where customer retention is business critical, and they just agreed to insult their customers every time they call.

This is a very poor decision, and the blame lies not with whoever took the decision, but the CEO who has failed to stop it.



Category : Companies

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