Put the Customer Before Cost Efficiency

Cost efficiencies are fine, but not at the expense of the customers.

—Customer relationship management (CRM) guru Paul Greenberg.

We all want a more efficient business. But if there’s a tab to pay for that efficiency, we can’t have our customers picking it up.

So Company XYZ decides it’s time to automate communications with an interactive voice response system. Done well, the move will increase the company’s efficiency while also improving customer service (through self-service).


Done poorly and Company XYZ may increase efficiency but diminish the customer experience. (No one wants to navigate a poorly designed IVR call flow built to serve the company, not the customer.)

Greenberg talks about transparency. By being honest and upfront with customers, we give them the information they need to make an informed decision. He mentions a flight where an airline lost his bags and was dodgy with him about it.

Customers may not like what they hear, but at least they can make a decision intelligently. By hiding the uncertainties, you take that ability away from your customers. Don’t.

Greengerg is right. As customers ourselves, we want all the information so we can make the best decision for ourselves, whether it’s when buying a car or home or pack of gum. Why would our customers be any different?

CRM Superstars’ Matthew Day calls a company’s data its lifeblood…and says that companies that lose their data don’t stay in business very long. (According to the National Archives and Records Administration, 93% of companies that lose their data and don’t get it back within 10 days end up going out of business in a year.)

That’s a scary stat.

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