Thursday, June 4, 2009

Reconnect with customers

These days most folks have multiple credit cards. It is therefore likely that one ends up using 1 or 2 cards making the other cards dormant. Naturally it's a challenge for the credit card companies . They understandably want to reconnect with customers and get them to start using their card on a regular basis. 

What would be some of the ways to reconnect with customers ? 

- Send them a letter highlighting benefits of the card
- A 'welcome back' , 'we've missed you' type of communication
- Something to incentivize the card usage
- Call the customer to discuss why he/she stopped using the card and if there's something they can do....

If you are Hsbc you reconnect with dormant customers by taking the effort to print and courier a bill for an outstanding amount of Rs 0.79 i.e approximately 0.01 cents ( I'm not making this up ). This morning while going through my mail I saw a credit card statement from Hsbc. It's been months (possibly a year) since I used the card. When I saw a statement (considering that I haven't received any for many months now ) I was puzzled. In the few moments it took to open the envelope my mind had raced through many options . Maybe there has been unauthorized usage of the card and that's the reason I have received a statement etc

Granted that these are challenging times where one needs to recover all payments due. Is it worth it to print and courier a bill for Rs 0.79 ? Is it worth the customer's time to write a check and deposit it , for a bank to clear the payment ? A bill like this is a sign of a system devoid of common sense (or any kind of sense ), empathy. I'm quite sure if I make the effort to call the world's local bank ( the cost of the call will undoubtedly exceed Rs 0.79 ) I will get a canned reply on how it's the 'system' which prints out the invoices. I'll therefore spare myself the effort and the aggravation.


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