No business intentionally ignores its customers. In fact, most managers think they do a reasonably good job of listening. But, if a customer feels ignored, big trouble lies ahead.
I hated returns when I was in the catalog business. I viewed returns, not without reason, as margin-killing time-wasters. The returned merchandise was often unsellable due to customer damage, missing items, or shopworn packaging. I had employees who did nothing all day but handle returns. In our lower-margin lines, I calculated I’d have to sell ten more products to make up for the expense of one return. We always kept smiling while we authorized returns, but inside I was cringing. And I wasn’t the only return-hater. Years ago, it was a common practice in some mail order segments to ship products in packaging the consumer had to tear apart to open, meaning that any return involved the added inconvenience of locating new packaging for the return. […]
In The Million Dollar Pickle (retitled after a reader suggested the original title When Stories Don’t Sell wasn’t that good), I retold a story about how a single bad customer service experience turned a business author and speaker into a negative PR machine for a local supermarket. What sparked that post was my OWN version of a pickle story. Oddly, my story also involves a condiment vegetable: the humble olive. […]
Branding expert Denise Lee Yohn proposes a new hierarchy of customer service based on Maslow's famous breakdown of human needs.
Book Review: Differentiate or Die by Jack Trout (Second Edition)
If someone asked you what set your product or brand apart from the competition, would you answer “quality” or “customer orientation?” If your answer is “yes,” you might be in for a rude awakeing… […]