John Hagel speaks a lot about a new type of ROI – Return On Information -, and how ROI needs to be optimized for both the company as well as for the customer. As a company, if you do not know who the top 20% of your customers are who bring in 80% of your profit, you do not have a good ROI.
As a customer, I just experienced some very low ROI situations – which really affect the way I feel about the company.
First was my cellular provider T-Mobile, which I had to call last week as some people with Cingular accounts could all of a sudden not reach me anymore. After going through the usual interactive voice response system “hell” and providing my home number, home address and last four digits of my social security I finally reached a live person, who started the conversation by asking me for my home number, home address and last four digits of my social security. I thought I was going to strangle him and when I asked him why he had to get that from me again since I had already provided all that rich information to their system – he responded that “his” system had no way of knowing that I came from that “other” system…sigh. At least he was helpful, which is sort of surprising with today’s cellular providers.
Next came my buying experience with HP. I bought a new Media Center PC from their online home office store. That went smoothly…registered, used a simple password with all letters, and when I was finished I got a friendly confirmation with a $10 coupon. The problem was that I did not like the monitor choices on their site. In looking around I found what I wanted in their small & medium business online store. So I tried to log in, only to find out that my log-in credentials from the home office site did not work. I had t recreate a new account, and this time I was asked for a password that had to have a combination of letters (with at least one in Cap), numbers or special characters. This one also asked for my mother’s maiden name! When I typed in the discount code I had received from HP (I know, it was the home office store – a different division), it was rejected. On Sunday, when I tried to access that account, I could not. Evidently I had forgotten what password I used, and since I had given a fake maiden name for my mother (that is none of HP’s business), I could not reset my password. Since they were closed on Sunday, I had to wait until Monday to reset my password, which is when my order was scheduled to ship. When I looked at the home office division, they were open on Sunday, but I figured it was not worth the aggravation trying to call someone there to reset my password on the fort knox computer from the small and medium business division….sigh.
How much would it cost them to get systems that are customer centric instead of division centric? And what do you think their ROI (return on investment) would be to deliver a better ROI (return on information) experience for their customers?