Months ago, I went to Citibank, and closed my long standing account. Over the course of years, I had kept “substantial” amounts of money in my account. And I had eventually decided that I wasn’t going to get paid a 0.95% interest for my money, when ING was paying 3.x% for the same. And I could do every single transaction online or by phone, without once stepping into an ING location (in fact ING doesn’t have a physical location at all).
Anyway, I closed my Citibank account in 5 minutes flat. Walked in, said I want to close my account, and they made me sign a piece of paper, and I was out of the bank faster than it takes to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Not one person cared to ask me why I was closing my account.
Today, I called Cablevision to disconnect my Internet service. I was fed up of having to restart my modem every day, every time the IP address was refreshed, and my connection dropping every few minutes (maybe it was a problem with my wiring at home, but hey, I just wanted to stay connected).
The company representative I talked to, who is supposedly in charge of “Service Disconnections”, did not even bother to ask me why I was disconnecting!
No, I did not say I was moving. I was not moving. I was just getting rid of cable Internet service because I am getting DSL. I still continue to have cable TV from the same provider.
Yet, the representative did not ask me why I was leaving. Why? Because she had not been asked by the company to do so. She had not been trained to ask even basic, relevant questions of the customer.
“Why?”. Now you would think that companies would know better than to not ask this simple question.
“Mr. Jayagopal, Why are you disconnecting our service?”
“Why are you closing your long standing account?”
“Why are you returning this product?”
“Is there anything we can do to change your mind?”
“Is there anything we can do to fix it?”
“Is there anything we can do to serve you better?”
Companies spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads. Yet, they cannot teach their sales and billing folks to ask simple questions that can turn things around for their customers, and in effect, turn things around for their business.