Too big to fail, too big to care
As the financial services industry consolidated, the companies got bigger and bigger to where we now have a financial services industry populated by dinosaurs who are all too big to fail, too big to manage, and, worst of all, too big to care about their customers.
The operating principal in all these big companies is to try to get you to think that everything is a lot simpler than it really is. By simple, I mean they want to convince you that you don’t have a lot of choices. In fact, whatever it is – investing, real estate, mortgages, insurance – ALL involve choices. Some people will make smart choices and some people will make dumb choices that cost them a lot of money. The ability to make smart choices is dependent upon getting good advice.
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It is also important to remember these three issues:
Those companies are all trying to reduce the cost per transaction, which is why they want you to use an ATM instead of coming inside a branch. You cannot provide better service at lower cost. The world does not work that way in your business and it doesn’t work that way in mine either. Lower cost means worse service.
The second thing is that many customer service operations are designed to meet the bare minimum of consumers’ needs.
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The last thing to remember is that these companies are geared to provide a service for compensation. The more they can talk you into paying, the more money they make, like if you agree to a poor choice. That is why being educated about choices is so important.
The best way to get that education is face-to-face with a real person, just as in going to confession.