Corporate parasites: Part 3 of …

'Excuse us, Sir - Do you need any help with that chocolate pudding?'

‘Excuse us, Sir – Do you need any help with that chocolate pudding?’

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The ‘helpfulness’ of corporations con…

by Richard @ Bizmarts – Apr. 2016

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The appeals come wrapped in notions of utility and helpfulness. “We are here to help you make better use of your time”, or “we know you are busy and this will help you”; or in the guise of avoiding some unpleasantry: “we know you don’t want to be bothered with”, or “this will save you time, money, and aggravation”; but what is not said is the true basis for the appeal – which is to benefit those making the appeals, while in many cases working against the best interests of the customer.

Whether the true purpose is to upsell customers some new swizzle-stick, decrease a provider’s risk exposure, enhance and expedite a financial benefit, or just issue some “warm fuzzies” to counteract negative PR, corporations at one time expended some effort to keep in touch with their customers. However, except in very limited, and generally high-end markets, modern corporations simply do not want open-ended interactions with customers. Many actively construct mechanisms to avoid such interactions, from creating purposefully obtuse websites, to hour-long phone queues, to implementing offshore support centers which will caress and cajole but be unable to provide meaningful assistance to customers or cost the corporation more than a pittance.

This is not accidental, nor unexpected. A company with several million customers knows that almost every contact after the sale is complete will cost them time, money, or effort. When the customer, or more accurately: the mark, is being counted on for repeat sales, or is a result of a high-end purchase which has a large profit margin, some effort may be expended to provide what was once called: “customer service”.  Otherwise a typical customer gets the “bum’s rush”.

…to be continued 

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