Do you want to purchase products that a provider believes will make you more productive?
Or do you want the marketer to understand your situation and work cooperatively with you to solve your business or personal problems?
Either way, you don’t want to be sold. That’s where so many companies have it all wrong.
When I have a problem, I go to the Internet, the blogosphere or my friends on Facebook or LinkedIn for recommendations that have worked for them. I have more confidence in my friends than I do in company sales reps commissioned to sell me what they are selling.
That is unless it is Apple or Zappos or one of the growing number of companies who culturally understand the importance of delivering a great customer experience.
Most of us do not want to be shoehorned io a company’s interpretation of what we should value. It is the reason most brand messaging seems so irrelevant to what we are looking for and why we can typically find several different solutions to our problems, none of which include buying a particular product.
When I consider banking services, for example, I am looking for better ways to leverage my money, manage my money and to protect my money. Those are the big three, yet not one of the banks I deal with bring up suggestions to help me with my goals.
Instead, they want me to enroll in their mutual fund investment programs when I already have an investment counselor who I trust implicitly for advice because the consultant knows intimately what I want my money to do and what my tolerance for risk is. Virtually no one could break into that bond because it is based on providing me with a great customer experience.
Recently, my wife went shopping for a cell phone. Since we have all our telecommunications services with Cincinnati Bell, she went there first. Any intelligent phone store representative should have recognized instantly that she needed only a basic phone. Instead, they talked her into a complex-to-operate Blaze (Android) phone and even hooked her into a 2-year contract.
Cincinnati Bell snookered her and they should be ashamed.
She brought it home and could not make it work (in part because she was not aware that the phone was malfunctioning). Finally, I went to the same phone store. I told them the story. They refused to take the phone back and sure enough they did not have to because they had her with a 2-year contract. So I bought her a simple phone (extra money) and I took over her Smart Phone. That’s when I discovered it was malfunctioning.
Now it was beyond the store’s warranty.
I was stuck with a dumb, malfunctioning phone and an unbreakable contract.
I had to buy yet another phone for myself.
So you can be assured of what will happen with my relationship with Cincinnati Bell when that contract ends. Our home phones will be transferred to one of their competitors. Our cell phones will be moved. Our Internet service will be moved.
A 30-year relationship will be terminated … because they did not understand what a customer experience means.
Worse for them is that my blog post will likely be read by many of the 9,000 visitors who come here each month. Those of you that see the outrage and live in the market area served by Cincinnati Bell will take a very cautious position when Cinbell rolls out their multi-year contract. Or more than likely, you will simply go to another phone store where you can expect a better customer experience.
That is the risk we all face when our companies disappoint customers with a bad experience.