Technology and Relationships—a Love-Hate Relationship
As the previous chapter intimates, minimum acceptable levels of churn are nothing more than a fragile and temporary masking of the real challenge: keeping, cultivating, and nurturing existing customers and establishing unbreakable bonds with them.
A common theme that runs throughout this process is the rise and role of technology, which has irrevocably changed the way we do business. It has proven to be the consummate method of delivering both unprecedented levels of efficiency and effectiveness boosts to many businesses, industries, and categories.
Take the ATM (automated teller machine—did you even know what it stood for?), for example. The ability to install and distribute machines that dispensed cash, accepted deposits, spat out bank statements on demand, and performed other service-related tasks 24/7/365 had a powerful transformative effect and impact on the business:
• Efficiency—the ultimate saving in the form of a lower cost per transaction fee. As much as we hate to admit it, computers are less costly (over time) than human beings. There are no union complications, no lunch breaks, no sick leave, and no political games (unless you count Y2K, but I guess even that was man-made). The ATM has had a profound impact in terms of increasing the number of transactions (notwithstanding the 90-year-old granny in front of you using the machine for the first time, bless her) and lowering the cost to the bank in terms of facilitating ...