Take the case of Home Depot. Now, I've been a customer at Home Depot
since i met its founder Bernie Marcus at a board meeting in Long Island. Can't remebmer the name of the bank we were on the board of, but I remembered Mr. Marcus and his values-based philosophy of running a business.
Based on that relationship, when Home Depot opened its first store on the Seacoast of New Hampshire, I went in and applied for a credit card, which arrived in the mail a few weeks later. Since then, I've probably at least close to $100k there, having built two houses and rennovated a third in that time - mostly with supplies purchased at Home Depot. About a year ago, Lowe's opened up not far from Home Depot, but, critically for me, next to Target and Starbucks, so I checked it out, and found that in some areas, particularly the gardening and shelving areas, Lowe's had a better selection. But the pricing didn't vary much, and neither did my shopping habits. Until this week.
Somewhere in the bowls of Home Depot (or more likley an outsourced service company) is a giant computer grinding away at "the numbers" and somewhere my name and number got cruched and they figured out that according to their "algorithm" I posed a credit risk. Never mind that I have been paying my bills on time for a decade. Never mind that i remained loyal, despite the arrival of the competition, never mind that I even stood up for them in conversations because I like their sustainability programs. My number came up and it said "cancel her account."
Fine, doesnt' matter to me at all. I have no problem at all switching all of my hardware purchasing to my local hardware store and Lowes. But it does point up the weakness of having a measurement program that only crunches numbers, and fails to look at the people and the relationships behind those numbers.
UPDATE: @homedepot saw my post and responded. Today I got a notice that my credit was reinstated and increased! Once more brand loyalty reinstated thanks to a good listener!