Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Disconnect, disable

Discussion in a leading private bank...

"I wish we could find a way of reducing costs on our credit card. Many of these idiots pay up on time and dont let us make money. On top of it, they expect to be rewarded for points"
"Shh...dont call them idiots though we treat them like that. They are our customers."
"Well, alright. Dont tell anyone..."
"What are the items we could attack?"
"Too many people redeeming their points earned on the credit cards."
"If we could find a way of disconnecting the reward and the actual card, it would work."
"Intriguing. Explain..."

"A few years back IT companies hit upon a great idea. Troubled by people who came up to their managers/HR, "I have been working as a manager - please make me a manager." or "I have been working as a consultant - please make me a consultant." - they came up with a brilliant masterstroke. They simply disconnected your designation and the work that you did. So, your pay was based on your designation and the work depended on whatever was available or whatever was required to be done at that moment. Therefore, in theory, you could be a peon who does the work of a president and be paid as much as that of a peon."
"And how is that connected here?"

"If we make the points independent of the transaction, it would make a difference."
"How could you do that?"
"Give them a separate card to be swiped for the points. Chances that they will swipe one more card is low - especially the old forgetful customers or the rich chaps who never have enough time. That leaves us with the kids who dont spend too much on their add-ons any way. Voila, points disappear down a black hole."

"You are a genius. Tell me more?"
"There is an agency that offers service levels that plumb the basement. They take ages to mail the second card only if you follow up 1898348 times - which means even the phone service provider will make money. "
"Great, put me through to them..."

And the complaints mount...

1 comment:

Kavi said...

The IT company analogy is perfect !