“There is no wrath like a woman scorned” – nor the fury of a customer wronged! I was just the victim of an ethical, if not an illegal scam, and I am doing what research says angry clients do 2-4X more than satisfied customers do – telling everyone to avoid this company (Derma Vibrance). First, it makes me feel better. Second, it is a good reminder for all of us to remember that short term tricks are long term business-killers.
It’s the Fine Print, Stupid
Apparently, although I still do not remember seeing it, when I ordered a free trial of skin cream, there was some fine print that said I was also signing up for an automatic $88 a month subscription, if I didn’t cancel within a short time period. Well, since I didn’t originally see that information, I didn’t call and my credit card company is now not disallowing the charges that subsequently appeared on my card. When I called the company, they not only blamed me for not reading the Terms more carefully, but tried to sell me more product!
I feel both furious and foolish, but I will get past this (and I will read all future Terms agreements).
No, It’s the Relationship
However, what I don’t want to get past is emphasizing the importance of having an honorable relationship with clients. Clients forgive the normal vagaries of business, but, like elephants, they never forget. They never forget what it feels like to be mistreated or conned.
What does mistreatment look like?
- Promising more than you can deliver
- Cost creep once a project has begun
- Missing agreed upon deadlines
- Sending in junior people when only seniors have been involved in the sale
- Wasting time
- Poor quality deliverables
- Offensive behavior
- Surprises (and not of the good kind)
Dissatisfied customer behavior statistics abound online and none of them bode well for business. One eye opener is that fully 95% of dissatisfied customers share bad experiences. Given the velocity of news crossing social media, this makes alienating clients even more dangerous. In addition, 91% of dissatisfied customers will never come back.
A Better Model
By contrast, I think of LL Bean and how customer-centric and transparent they are, or Kenco, a local sports shop which exchanged some archery arrows for me recently because the original ones they sold were too short. No fuss. No bother. No pathetic arguing. I am sure you have your own examples of companies that do business in a similar honorable way.
These are the companies we talk about and recommend to others.
Derma Vibrant clearly makes some money from careless people like me with their misleading advertising. However, what they also earn is my ill will, my warnings to hundreds of others (like you), and a guarantee of lost future business from me and from the hundreds, if not thousands, of other customers who feel equally tricked.
In the heat of the competitive moment or under pressure to hit tough quotas, or, like Derma Vibrance, just because they can, it is tempting to cross a line to win business.
Rarely a good move.
Words Matter – Make What You Say Pay!
You work too hard on a presentation to be forgotten after you leave! One surefire way to be memorable in a presentation? Listen to my 10 minute Podcast with Dan Walker, SalesRepRadio http://bit.ly/2kzLK0Y
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My latest post on LinkedIn explores three levels of metaphors you can use when you need to sell, influence, persuade, or explain anything to anyone.
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