Dear Chief Financial Officers,
It has recently come to my attention that your cash flow is a little lean.
I was reminded of this when I went to check my bag for a flight and was charged $20. You got me again when I received notice that I’ll now be charged a $5 monthly fee for using my debit card. My local movie theatre was no refuge either – I’m now being charged $12.00 to be a part of their rewards program. I needed a vacation after all these fees so I booked a few nights at a resort hotel. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn about the $30 resort fee until after I arrived.
You need more money. I get it. I look at my own bank account and I really, really get it.
But here’s the problem, CFOs. Customers are emotional. Why else would we rant and rave when Facebook makes a minor change? Facebook is FREE and we still get all worked up if they do something we don’t like.
I realize there isn't a "Customer Rage Quotient" column on your "Fee Increase Cost Benefit Analysis" spreadsheet, but maybe there should be. It starts to feel like you don't respect us very much when you suddenly charge a fee for something you used to include with the price of your product or service.
You want more money, but I want to spend less money. So, how can we make this work?
I have one simple suggestion. Treat me and my fellow customers a little better. Think about that $300 I spent on air fare before you charge me another $20 for my bag. That might be the difference between you getting another $300 for my next flight or me taking my business elsewhere.
For my part, I promise to tell the truth to everyone I know. If you treat me well, I'll sing your praises. If you treat me poorly, I'll be happy to suggest several of your less annoying competitors.
I know you are busy with your latest complex financial modeling project, so I'll close by thanking you for your time and reminding you that I have a few purchasing decisions to make in the near future. I hope you make my decisions easy!
Jeff Toister, Customer
PS. You may be wondering why I addressed this letter to you and not to the Vice President of Marketing or the Vice President of Customer Service. C'mon - these fees have "CFO" written all over them. Nobody who had actually spoken to a customer would think those fees were a good idea.