As a marketer, I tend to be quite critical of poor marketing and advertising programs, and a big stickler when it comes to customer service. It only takes one bad experience for your brand to lose a customer – and if it is really bad, many more can be lost (for good).
The truth is that “good enough” is not enough. For many people, good enough means “not bad” – and that implies that the experience was subpar. Unsatisfactory experiences are like kindling in a fire on review websites. This is because people are much more likely to share their dissatisfaction with a product or service than they are to refer it to friends and family. Dissatisfaction motivates people – and in a way that can be quite harmful to your brand.
I recently had an experience with a service provider in New York that could not deliver a service by the previously agreed-upon date. After hours of searching for someone who could help me resolve the situation, a customer service representative called to offer me two options: 1) I could wait until whenever they got a hold of the unresponsive employee who was handling my project (with no time frame provided for a response), or 2) I could pay again to have another professional pick up my project. They kindly offered me a 20 percent discount if I chose to pay again for the service that they failed to deliver on time. Mind you that this is a large organization serving major brands across the U.S.
Sometimes, even modest success leads brand managers to think that they’ve “got it,” and that things are working like a well-oiled machine – which explains their successful growth. I beg to differ on that point of view. Such success is usually short lived, because there is no such thing as sustained stability. Every day is a good day to consider making improvements to your business model. That is the only way any company can continue to grow and thrive in the long term.