Your marketing techniques have no effect on me. I am an informed consumer who can research mass amounts of feedback from your customers with any internet connection. When I hear a too enthusiastic response to someone using your product/service, I am doubtful. Some consumers with that much zealous energy are most likely brainwashed by your promises, and are only caught in the dream of what you are selling.
I don’t need vague phrases to instill hope and excitement. I don’t need promises of a better experience or enhanced living. I don’t need to jump on a limited time offer. The number of times you tell me that I need something just reminds me of how unreliable your product/services are.
Slogans. Jingles. Icons. Image. All worthless. These are only reflections of the disposable economy. If a company spends more on marketing and advertising than researching proper packaging or support for their product, they don’t care about the customers needs.
In other words, I don’t need a sales promise. The term itself has become an oxymoron.
A cascade of empty sales promises feeds into postponed delivery dates. This in turn feeds into meetings which eat up resources and produce next to zero results. These rolls over into vaguely phrased responses to customer inquiries to the most basic questions. “When can we really get it?” “Why did this fail?” And if handled correctly, time will be taken to find out when and why. If handled incorrectly, someone will have an answer automatically for them. A mechanical form letter response to a human mistake is just as bad as the mistake itself.
If we cannot deliver product or service when we first report, we are not instilling what is missing in the disposable economy… Reliability. Even sales promises have become disposable, “Don’t like that one? Sorry, here’s a new one when you fill out the feedback which will not be read by anyone in charge.” Take the time, get delivery times, then report it back to the customer.
So how do we fix this situation?
Get personal. Every delivery celebrated, every mistake is a lesson learned. Listen to customer needs, they are paying you money. Why give them the reason to pay you, and complain about how unreliable your product/service is?
Hold suppliers responsible for their actions. Don’t accept sales promises, talk to the people who work on the actual product or service. Get them to ask their suppliers for more reliable delivery times and product/service fulfillment. And them have them contact their suppliers and DEMAND the same. And have them demand it from their suppliers. This will fix the problem, and not assign the blame or distract with colorful phrases. Those who won’t learn from this are doomed to loose all confidence from their customers.
We need everyone to remember when a handshake and word was a binding contract. If you have bad news, make sure that your customer is confident enough that you are addressing their problem. Open and up to date communication is one of the most powerful tools that a company can have.
A renewed sense of confidence from a customer is worth more than any other marketing strategy. A customer confident of the goods/services they receive will pay upfront and provide enough marketing for the company.
Take the actions that will make your customer proud to own or receive what you are selling. Do your part. Make reliability a vital component of what you do, and confidence will comeback.
Go forth, change the world. I’m not expecting anything less.
I’m still here, It’s my soapbox,