Be Careful Who You Shaft!

Studies have proven that every contented customer only tells a couple of people and each one you treat poorly may tell a dozen. Some times you hit the big time.

In a comic strip from 11/9/06, the cartoon character Shoe goes to the airline desk and says “I’ll need to take a late flight back home.” The response is classic: “No problem, Sir…Our flights are always late.” It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which airline caused the artist problems. The sign over the service desk was AMERICAN’T AIRLINES.

Now Jeff MacNally’s Shoe is syndicated in more than a 1000 papers. It doesn’t much matter that I read this on a reasonably pleasant trip with AA. My complement will only reach a few dozen. readers. You almost have to assume anymore that the person you aggravate is really important and if you don’t resolve it, the complaint will be heard in the press, on the web, in the courts and by lawmakers.

Dry cleaning is one of the most highly regulated businesses in America and it’s probably because there were so many bad ones for a long time. Environmentalists, lawmakers and consumer advocates clamped down with new laws and the industry had few advocates to protect them. It’s tough to soar with the eagles when you hang with turkeys. So if you are in an industry with a bad reputation, look out for more regulations as politicians, consumer activists and environmentalists try to get even with you.

Gee that sounds like car dealerships, repair shops, contractors and drycleaners. It might seem that some industries get excessive regulation as payback for poor customer and community relations. Surprised?

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3 Responses to “Be Careful Who You Shaft!”

  1. Andrew Says:

    This is exactly why things like “The Ultimate Question” are only part of the solution. If you are going to look improve loyalty and referrals, you need a measurement system, but you also need a framework to apply corrective action. Is MacNally upset at being late (i.e. timeliness of service) or more upset about a lack of information on his flight (lack of human interaction), or maybe he didn’t like the compensation that he was offered (conflict resolution). Without an analysis framework, you are just shooting in the dark when taking corrective action.

  2. bizmaster Says:

    Carry thios concept to yopur own site and expand – I want to see the expanded post

  3. Pirsey Says:

    This topic is quite trendy in the net at the moment. What do you pay attention to when choosing what to write about?

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