I came across this article around the holidays and I bookmarked it because I thought it offered some interesting data and had some applicability to the credit and collections industry, even though it isn’t about the industry. The article in question discusses why some companies seem to excel at providing bad customer service even though they remain highly profitable.
The article goes as far as to infer that companies set up their customer service departments to make it as difficult as possible for consumers to actually get their complaints resolved. In most cases, companies develop a “tiered” customer service model, where the first person to interact with a consumer who has a complaint simply responds that there is nothing that can be done. Only when the consumer asks to speak with a supervisor or threatens to leave the company does something ultimately get done.
The companies are banking on a percentage of consumers to be satisfied that their aired their complaint even though the representative said there was nothing that can be done about it.
Companies are also using chatbots to analyze the tone of a consumer’s voice to determine how angry he or she is and if a certain threshold is reached, then the consumer is transferred to a live representative with the power to actually do something.
This is another example of the “squeakiest wheel” syndrome that proves you need to make waves if you want to get something done.
I find this fascinating because in all of the conversations and webinars that I have hosted where collection agencies talk about their culture or their approach to working with consumers, nobody ever mentions strategies like these. Collection agencies understand the importance of empathy and working with an individual to find a solution that is satisfactory for everyone.
For once, it seems like everyone else can take a page from how collectors do something.