At one time, a Cadillac automobile was considered a class ride and for those that remember the Yugo, this automobile was a little red wagon with a motor and Fred Flinstone brakes.
I have been involved in the service delivery industry for much of my life and logic would imply that service levels would improve with technology advances and you would experience a decrease in service costs.
Major technology companies have bet the farm on the philosophy of cheaper, faster, better but is this a strategy that actually delivers as promised? Let’s see.
Today, I needed to set up a rental truck for a project in South Carolina. Using the model of cheaper, faster, better we will map out the results.
- I was able to pull up websites quite easily using Google Search. I wanted to compare costs between two different providers.
- On both sites, I was able to pull basic costs but neither website would allow me to select all desired options so I had to set up a chat and wait for a rep to chat with me.
- Once the chat started, neither reps could answer the questions I had so each directed me to contact a rep using the 1-800 number.
- I called the 1-800 number for company #1 and they were unable to pull the information off the website that I had completed so we manually completed the quote over the phone.
- Overall, they were very helpful and we achieved our goal.
- Total invested time, company #1, 30 minutes plus.
- I called the 1-800 number for company #2 and they were unable to assist since the system was down so I was directed to call back. This occurred after extensive waits for a person to answer.
- We did not achieve our goal.
- Total invested time, company #2, 30 minutes plus.
- Results of cheaper, faster, better:
- Cheaper – YES – Websites and initial chat personnel that cannot answer all questions and/or permit all quotes are cheaper since on average they will field most calls and quotes without issue.
- Faster – NO – Perhaps on average this is a yes but for me, this was a no and my questions were very basic.
- Better – NO – Company #1 actually charged me less on the phone than the quote online and I had to wait for the quote to be sent to me to review. Company #2 did not get a chance to quote because the system was down.
- Perhaps I am missing the big picture of cheaper, faster, better but in this example, I spent more time, they made less money but I am certain the investment in customer service was limited.
The strategy of cheaper, faster, better service is considered Cadillac Service At Yugo Prices. Although this looks good on paper, this strategy results in satisfactory service delivery for the majority of customers but for customers that do not fit into a normal bucket, get ready for a ride in a Yugo.
Unluckily, providing Cadillac Service At Yugo Prices has been labeled cheaper, faster, better and this model has infiltrated most areas of customer service. If we were talking cars, you could buy at least two Yugos for every Cadillac so you had a backup.
We are talking about customer service so we just get frustrated and ask “whatever happened to a person on the other end of the phone” as we wait on hold in need of assistance.
Just some observations about the cheaper, faster, better strategy as it relates to customer service.
Wishing you a great day.