Brands often have a choice between choosing to tell their customers something and in deliberately hiding it. What do they choose?
Consider this situation: you know that your customers are making a mistake in the use of your product but these small mistakes by too many like them, adds up to a lot of money for you. If you were a brand owner faced with this kind of dilemma, what would you do?
Take an example of the mobile phone service providers.
As a postpaid mobile phone user you have chosen a plan that gives you cheaper SMS with expensive call rates compared to another plan. As a user, you did this because you thought you’d use more sms than call time. However, you’re not doing this. Thus, you are losing money. Ideally, you should change your plan to something that is more in tune with your usage and which will save you, a lot of money. Your service provider, of course knows that. But your loss is their profit so what do they do – call you and tell you about it, or let you be?
As most of us who have changed their plans know, most mobile service providers would rather not tell you about it even when they seem to have an army of people who call you incessantly if you have skipped a due date. In theory, the service provider is not in the wrong. After all it is your duty, not their, to keep a tab of how you use their service. Besides, why would they spend money on an activity that would eventually lose them money?
Yet, a company that understands customer service, would do just that – spend effort and even money to tell you how you can save some money. The reasons: this will build a positive image in the mind of that particular customer and secondly imagine if the customer indeed were to find out that he has been losing money every month because information vital to him was not shared?
Yet, we all know that is not how it happens in the world. A Direct To Home (DTH) service provider would discriminate between customers by giving later movers more discount than early movers to a particular scheme. Of course, since they have already invested in a service provider, and it is too much hassle to change it, they won’t, but the idea that they paid more than someone who subscribed later, an idea opposite of loyalty, would stay in their heads.
So what can say a DTH operator do to skew the balance? To their old customers who being first movers ended up paying more, they can offer some channels free of cost, or free movie subscription to compensate for that they have notionally lost. This will do two things, first of all this reward for loyalty would go down well with the users and secondly the products offered free might actually be liked by the user who might pay and subscribe to it after the free trial is over.
There are thus many ways to keep the faith of your customer. The question is only one: as a ‘service’ provider, are you truly willing to go the distance and provide service beyond your call of duty?