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Monday, July 15, 2013

Do You Recognize Your Profitable Customers?

How well do you treat the people who pay your salary?  I’m not talking about your boss, but rather the customers who by buying your product or service give your employer the funds that allow them to meet payroll.

Sounds obvious doesn’t it?  Most businesses are falling all over themselves to  care for and retain loyal, profitable customers.  But apparently not every company.  We have our home and auto insurance with Ace Private Risk Group (a company that you don’t see advertising on television, but last year wrote over $9Billion in premiums).  My quarterly payment was due on July 2nd, but with the holiday and some personal issues I admit that I did not get the check in the mail until July 8th, and the company did not receive and recognize the payment until July 11th.  My apologies.  But since I have been with Ace for over 10 years, paid them over $50,000 over that time, and had only one small claim of $1,000, one might think the company would consider me a valuable customer despite my tardiness.

But not Ace.  On July 13th I received a notice (issued a whole 4 business days after the payment due date) headlined in large bold type with the words NOTICE OF CANCELLATION.  No “as a good, long-term customer we wanted to offer a reminder”.  No “perhaps your payment and this correspondence have crossed in the mail”.  Basically just “we want to fire you as a customer --deadbeat”.

I phoned my agent, confirmed payment had been received, and was informed that the notice I received was pretty much standard for companies they represented.  I was told such notices are just cranked out by computers, “not by people” (one of my least favorite excuses, for unless I missed something computers still only do what they are programmed to do). 

Is extending care to profitable customers and managing the Total Customer Experience a concept that doesn’t extend into the insurance industry?  Or am I just dealing with the wrong carrier? Any reactions?



11:13 am edt          Comments

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