I Got Yer Customer Service Right Here

By Published on .

In the customer service world, it's always said it's much cheaper to hold on to an existing customer than it is to go out and get a new one. And, gosh darnit, AOL really, really took that to heart -- as Anyone who's ever tried to cancel an AOL account knows. A few weeks ago, The Consumerist posted the audio clip of reader Vincent Ferrari trying to cancel his account in the face of a CSR who just wouldn't take no for an answer. Apparently, the clip touched a nerve. It spread through the blogosphere and jumped onto national TV.

Now The Consumerist has gotten its hands on an AOL training manual, which reveals AOL's retention matrix (really).

According to the "Enhanced Sales Training for AOL Retention Consultants," every cancellation call is a sales lead. In typically cheery (and clueless) sales speak, the manual states: "If you stop and think about it, every Member that calls in to cancel their account is a hot lead. Most other sales jobs require you to create your own leads, but in the Retention Queue the leads come to you!"

Because when a customer is calling to cancel an account because he's tired of slow dial-up at ridiculous prices, he's really open to a sales pitch.
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