Friday, March 02, 2007

Customer Emotions: When To Call?

Via The Wise Marketer: Six million UK savers state their intent to churn Nearly 6 million British savers plan to switch savings accounts, according to a survey by and Defaqto. The study found that 5.99 million people intend changing their savings accounts for a better interest rate during the next 12 months. Savers are reacting to recent cuts in rates by leading financial providers. The study interviewed adults aged 18+ and found that 57% (26.5 million) regard improving their savings as one of their biggest financial challenges for 2007. Around 3.6 million people said they do not understand savings accounts well, representing a significant opportunity for institutions that are willing to educate potential customers as part of an acquisition campaign. As a consumer myself, perhaps it would be more useful for the Banks if they identified their own "at risk" customers (switchers) and called them to invite them to discuss "what their concerns are" with a local customer service representative. Research conducted by Abhay Padgaonkar (president, Innovative Solutions Consulting LLC, 2006)and supported by other research ("Manage Your Human Sigma" – Harvard Business Review, July, 2005), indicates that
There is increasing evidence that emotionally satisfied clients contribute far more to the bottom line than rationally satisfied clients, even though both groups may appear to be equally satisfied
. This resonates with my today, having heard Jeff Bonforte from Yahoo at the eTel conference speak about "emotional" products, and products that address an emotional state. The example Jeff gives (rather colourfully) is that people hate getting their telecom bill. Hate is a strong emotion. Products that address this hate, will get customer attention, even customer action. Where the cost-benefits for the new service aren't even clearcut, customers will react "irrationally" because they are driven by emotion. Skype users hated their telco bills, so put up with bad initial voice quality, and a low number of "connections". Banks and other Financial Service organisations have very nervous, anxious customers at the moment. Yet, I wonder how many organisations have a segmentation variable that surfaces individuals that may need a call, right now.

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