Your customers are lying, slothful idiots

Well maybe YOU don’t think this, but apparently plenty of companies do.

When the pizza delivery man shows up more than an hour beyond the promised delivery time—and the complaining customer is met with a manager offering a litany of excuses, rather than immediately apologizing profusely and making the order free—you reveal yourself as brand that believes its customers are stupid.

When you design a promotion that forces customers to jump through hoops to get the deal—i.e. most rebate programs—and its ROI depends on customers forgetting to do the paperwork, you reveal a lot about how you wish to do business.

When a large portion of your revenues are derived from what amounts to careless customer mistakes—credit card late fees, opt-out subscription services and the like—you demonstrate a clear world view.

When you ignore a complaint for nearly a month, only to follow-up when the customer tweets about it, you are saying something about how much you care about “normal” customer service issues.

I encountered all of these situations in the past week.

Everyone makes mistakes (and those of you with teenagers will now add the refrain: everyone has those days).  But it’s clear that many companies systematically depend on their customers being ignorant or lazy—or start from the position that the customer is probably lying.

Can you be a compelling, highly relevant and differentiated brand that customers will willing advocate if you believe anything remotely close to this blog’s title?

Seems obvious, but my experience suggests otherwise.

Authentic wins.

Remarkable wins.

Contempt for your customer loses.  Big time.

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2 thoughts on “Your customers are lying, slothful idiots

  1. Unfortunately, many companies plan their promotions around the likelihood of customers not redeeming rebates among other things. Though these companies can be successful initially, the customer eventually catches on to what is happening and eventually will pull their business away, assuming there is a competitor to pull to. Eventually is the key word, explaining why these companies can be financially successful in the beginning until the customer and their actions catch up to them. Not a long-term or ethical approach by any means but unfortunately common in the business world.

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