Customers who want to cancel are hot sales leads

Fascinating stuff over at Consumerist, which has got its hands on AOL’s customer retention manual.

If you stop and think about it, every Member that calls in to cancel their account is a hot lead. Most other sales jobs require you to create your own leads, but in the Retention Queue the leads come to you! Be eager to take more calls, get more leads and close more sales. More leads means more selling opportunities for you and cost savings for AOL.

Of course, AOL isn’t the only firm that does this – but unlike other firms, it’s famous for it.

4 thoughts on “Customers who want to cancel are hot sales leads

  1. Tony Kiernan says:

    This was on Digg yesterday. C’mon, it’s vaguely related.

    Mr Joste Bowen (my part-time flatmate) now works for AOL Tech support out in Airdrie. Despite what we told him, he seems to think it would set huim up for a job in other areas of tech support (and, not just another call centre job). Yet, he still feel the need to regale us with the ‘hilarious’ events of the day.

  2. Stephen says:

    Wow, great site, Tony! Having been at the sharp end recently of a company siding with an idiotic customer, and of companies generally pursuing customers regardless instead of saying “Isn’t having a disorganised, nasty, unpleasant and abusive customer hurting our employees and thus us more than any benefit we are getting?”, I have to say that “the customer is always right” is ridiculous. Some customers aren’t worth having. The sooner you get them hassling your competitors, the better.

  3. Gary says:

    Thanks for the link, Tony – I’d planned to post it but forgot all about it. I think it’s generally true… certainly I’ve found that with many firms, they’re so used to dealing with arseholes that they tend to assume everyone with a legit complaint is just one of the constant complaints brigade.

  4. Tony Kiernan says:

    I used to work in the Abbey National (as it was at the time) call centre. They have a policy that says if one customer has a bad experience the story gets passed on to 266 (no idea where that figure came from), so just give them it as early as possible. I rant and rave about bad service (did I tell you about the Spides crashing my room in the Belfast holiday Inn?) all the time. I’m pretty certain that no-one goes home and says “you’ll never guess what hapened to Kiernan….” If they do, I might need new friends

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