July 30, 2004
As companies cut costs by off-shoring customer service, issues inevitably arise as to whether to offer your best customers premium, controllable, on-shore customer service. The trend of increasing segmentation and tiering of services would certainly apply well here. But when this kind of tiering becomes explicit, what does that imply about the rest of your customer service, ie the ‘lower’ tier? Delta, for instance, was considering offering frequent flyers the option of adding a fee for customer service by a reservationist in the US and not India. But the potential brand-damaging backlash is clear: what about customers that don’t pay the extra fee? How low is the ‘normal’ standard of quality that would make such an explicit tiering a serious possibility? Dell is open about routing corporate customer calls to US centers, while all the other calls go offshore. E-loan lets its customers choose for themselves: fast and offshore or slow right here at home.
Article entitled, ‘Delta thinks of charging more for American voice on phone’