Channel Preferences Don’t Matter: Clarification

In response to my earlier post, in which I said “customers don’t care about channels.” Tomas Kohl writes:

Agreed, though if I indicate my preference for e-mail over telephone, I damn well mean I expect NOT to phoned. Plus, 99% percent of the time, e-mail will suffice; the possible exceptions being: your credit card has been skimmed, or: you’re 3 months behind on your payment schedule and we’re sending a death squad your way; not much more I reckon.”

Thanks, Tomas — you helped me to see me comment in a new light, and went on to make another good point.

When I said “channel preferences don’t matter,” I was reacting to market research which asks consumers their channel preferences in a generic, abstract sense. But Tomas is right on. If a customer specifies a channel preference specific to certain interactions, and makes those preferences clear to the specific firms he or she deals with — then that preference damn well matters.

Tomas also raises another good point which many firms don’t seem to explicitly understand. There are times when the rules have to be broken. You have to use judgment (human or system) in certain cases, and call, email, or send regular mail if its warranted.

Good advice, Tomas. Thanks.


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