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Cintia Miranda Cintia Miranda
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When good enough is just not enough

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I consider myself a straight shooter. From time to time, I've been accused of seeing things in a black and white sort of way. I just don't have time for nonsense, and I don't have much patience for it either. What does that make me? A tough customer with high expectations. But there is a good part about being a pain in the neck, as some might put it: I am continually judging the quality of my own work, which helps me not to fall into complacency.

My first and most memorable boss in the business world used to say that achieving success is easy - the hard part is sustaining it. Sometimes, success can drive a business into complacency, which is a very dangerous path to be on. When things are good for a period of time, people become overly positive about their success. They tend to think that their business will continue on that growth path, which can lead to a false sense of security and lack of a strong business strategy.

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.


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