Friday, July 02, 2010

How to alienate customers and create bad press

The internet is like a bullhorn for your customers. In the past, if an angry customer told their friends and family, a company might lose a few sales. Today, offend a customer at your own risk. Customers have access to social media, forums, and sites like Consumerist or Yelp to air their grievances. One miffed customer can result in many lost dollars.

Nothing drives this point home better than the stories on Most of the stories focus on how a customer was mistreated or wronged by a company. However, I run across another type of story with alarming frequency: Customers that were wronged by a company's computer system.

For example, here’s a story of a customer who accidently ordered the same Craftsman item twice online. When he called to fix the situation, they informed him that once an order is in the system, it can’t be cancelled. In fact, in order to cancel the order, he would have to reject the second package when it was delivered. Do you think those who read that story think more or less of Craftsman after reading it? I mean, cancelling orders is pretty basic stuff…even our demo site can do that.

Here’s another example: A woman went into foreclosure thanks to Bank of America’s computer errors and horrible online payment system. Do you think those who read this story will go to Bank of America for a loan? Probably not.

How much money do you think these companies lose when they get in the news like this? I bet it’s a lot more than you might imagine.

When your computer systems are faulty, or even limited, they reflect poorly on your whole company. When your computer systems negatively impact a customer, and that customer tells others, your company stands to lose money.

The good news: These problems are easily avoidable. If your computer systems have known issues or even lack features, we'd love to help you fix them. Chances are, it’s cheaper and easier than you imagined. Let us know what’s on your plate, and we’ll let you know how we can help.


david 12:24 PM  

Oddly enough, it seems like a lot of companies are interested in doing just that ... AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc.

They all seem to be implementing policies that specifically designed to piss off customers.

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