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This chapter is from the book

Myth 4: Customers do not want to be telephoned at home—always.

As the banking client learned, it is unwise to project your own personal prejudices, likes, and dislikes onto your customers. The bankers were far off the mark and did not understand what their customers truly wanted. When we asked the executives if they based their beliefs on actual customer input, their answer was, "Sure. We all have a wife or husband who is a customer."

Beyond the obvious issue of the statistical validity of a sample size of a half-dozen spouses, these bankers clearly had not read the chapter on segmentation to know that what one customer hates, another may actually like—or read the previous Myth 3 on how customers can methodically be led to develop a vision of how they might receive ideal value during an interaction. If the bankers had read these things, they might have tested their hypothesis themselves—with customers.

In fact, customers in visioning workshops for many different industries have stated that the primary problem with being contacted at home is that it is almost always by a blanket marketing program and not targeted to their specific interests. Customers hate to be contacted when the call has nothing uniquely to do with them, but is merely part of a mass-marketing campaign: "Don't call me about your great special on boat insurance if I don't own a boat!"

However, if a customer owns a particular investment product and something happens that could impact them personally—perhaps new legislation that could have tax implications—they would actually appreciate receiving a targeted, personalized, individual-specific contact. "Except during the dinner hour. Always."

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