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customer experience
Janine Dyer
  • By Janine Dyer
  • Sep 09 2016

The Deadly World of Annoyance

Whatever you do, don't piss off your customers

One of the many benefits of the increased exposure of the ‘customer experience’ is that it’s getting easier to spot brands for whom customers are just a means to an end. As the forward-thinking brands seek to add value to the lives of their customers, in new and personal ways, some business leaders are dead set on cutting as many corners as possible.

“Distinctive brands understand that commercial success in and of itself can be short-term thinking. If a brand can take their customers with them, every step of the way to success, the rewards will be longer lasting and further reaching. ” Janine Dyer

This week I received an email from a brand that falls into the aforementioned category. And as much as I’d like to name this established London salon, professionalism demands a more measured approach.

The email stood out in my inbox, simply because it was the first time I’ve heard from this company since signing up to their online community - five years ago. I assumed they wanted to enquire as to why I hadn’t returned. Or maybe they were offering a discount for a service or a product. I would have welcomed such an engagement, despite it being just one of its kind from this particular brand in half a decade.

But no. Despite their complete lack of engagement, unfulfilled promises of member-benefits and a clear disinterest in hearing from former customers, this is what their email said:

“We need a favour. We have been shortlisted as London salon of the year and need your vote to win.”

It felt a bit like having someone steal my cake and then offer me a slice. For this brand, it’s all about the brand, and that’s the problem. Trophies and accolades cannot be a substitute for customer loyalty and advocacy. And it’s not just the black hole where their communications strategy should be, but an entire lack of purpose in their wider business activity.

Distinctive brands understand that commercial success in and of itself can be short-term thinking. If a brand can take their customers with them, every step of the way to success, the rewards will be longer lasting and further reaching.

There is no faking it when it comes to delivering a distinctive customer experience. A brand cannot add zero value and expect unquestionable loyalty in return. And sadly, for this particular salon, they’ve pissed off a customer in a world where options for instant communications are greater than ever. Angry customers talk louder than anyone else.