This site, when it all comes down to it, features the CSR as protagonist. Sometimes he’s the hero, bending company bureaucracy, flouting his own training because he feels sympathy. More often, he’s the anti-hero, speaking in circles and thwarting any attempt to get satisfaction from a customer. But it’s all about the CSR.
An exciting add-on for the World of AOL Retention game, The Bonus Calculator!
TimeWarner announced yesterday an AOL makeover ot make more money with less subscribers. The profit hinged on $1 billion in cost cuts mainly coming from, “the company’s extensive marketing effort to attract new customers and retain old ones,” NYT reports.
AOL may be free, but that didn’t stop them from calling up Matt W. in Chicago, begging him to come back. The rep offered Matt a “new” version of AOL called, “Security Edition.” After an initial “trial period,” Matt could continue using AOL for $9.95/month.
In light of today’s news that America Online’s content and services are going free, let’s glance at a polaroid of those halcyon days and Monte Carlo nights of yesteryear.
Confirming rumors that it itself spread, America Online formally announced plans to give away email and other previously subscriber-only service for free at AOL.com.
UPDATE: We don’t mean to say that you should actually lie to your cellphone provider and do this. In the interest of following up on advice we previously posted, which also appeared in Wired, we wanted to see if this worked. So we gave it a shot.
In all the boogaloo about AOL’s manual and call centers, we forgot some very important pieces of information.
Working as an AOL retainer can kill you.
CNet got AOL on the horn to talk about the AOL retention manual we uploaded, but the big triangle didn’t have much to say, except for:
Even before the roaring 2000′s ravaged AOL’s subscriber base like colectomy through Denny’s, the ISP was catching flack over its retention policies, as noted in an article from the golden-tinged yesteryears of 1998.
In a climax worthy of a maudlin children’s novella, AOL reportedly intends to convert its walled garden of delights into a public park, a place where everyone, regardless of race, religion, class, creed or knowledge of the many-tubed internet can gather without fear of encountering anything interesting. In other, smaller, words, the entirety of AOL’s proprietary content will be ported to AOL.com to attract visitors and ad-revenue.
We’ve been fielding some inquiries lately from news organizations, asking our thoughts about recording customer service interactions. Will Vincent and the Sleepy Comcast guy inspire copycats? Will people try to game the system for kicks and national acclaim? Well, some guy tried to goad a Comcast rep during an intent to cancel call…
Another gemstone that tumbled out of the AOL retention coal mine after Vinny’s call is this update to the ominously monikered, “Offer Matrix.” That’s apparently the sequence of goodies doled out to customers to dissuade them from stopping service. Take the red prophylactic, Neo.
A disgruntled employee mailed in a triptych of AOL internal emails that followed the cancellation call heard round the world, finally launching the call’s recorder, Vincent, onto The Today Show, CNBC, CNN and even generated a comic strip, a Playboy parody video, and finally, our “Where is he now?” interview.
Now that AOL has weathered the Vincent Ferrari storm, what’s it like to cancel? Has anything changed? Are the reps more courteous? Do they tell you bedtime stories over the phone?