Customer engagement – response to @GaryDickenson’s interesting post

Have just posted some thoughts on Gary Dickenson’s interesting blog post about customer engagement http://garydickenson.com/2011/04/your-opinion-counts/. You can respond there – and follow Gary on twitter @GaryDickenson..

Here are some additional – slightly random – thoughts on the subject:

Behind the issue of customer engagement (or lack thereof) lies a bigger issue of the move away from personal service to automated self-service.

The angry bank customers may feel aggrieved but as far as the bank is concerned they are not worth worrying about. If they want personal service in future they will have to pay for it. If they move their account they are probably doing the bank a favour. Banks are in the process of managing down their customer numbers – hoping to focus on the high margin product buyers/fee payers. They are moving into either the high-end business of asset gathering and asset management, or the mass market/minimum management service provision of online banking and automated-cashiers.

People bemoan “McJobs” but they will weep when they are gone – sometime, probably in the next 50 years – you will have your burger prepared from beginning to end by machine – you operating a self-service, pay in advance, selection screen to get just what you want – cheaply, efficiently and with the minimum of human input. There will be no one to complain to if you don’t like the produce – just a security guard to prevent you trashing the place in frustration.

Personal service comes at a cost – most people are not prepared to pay it – they want free, cheap everything – they won’t or can’t pay for personal banking – look at a private bank’s fees and ask yourself: Do I want a hole-in-my-wallet or will I settle for using the hole-in-the-wall?”

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