How to earn a bad reputation by frustrating your customers to death.
The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.
~ Thomas A. Edison
Supposedly, Voltaire coined the saying that common sense is not so common. When it comes to American business practices, that is in full evidence. I’m a busy guy. I have not been busy updating the blog recently. Why? Mostly because I have been dealing with stupid things that companies do to drive away customers.
So, here are some real, live examples of just how to drive people away from your business as far as possible.
Shipping Company A
Logistical companies move products from point A to point B. That is their job. Failure to deliver is failure to do one’s job. However, there is a certain shipping company that makes it really, really hard to deliver the goods.
Here is how to frustrate the receiver to the point of exasperation:
- Leave a note on the door. Fail to leave a tracking number so that there is no way to confirm where it is coming from. Do so during a busy shipping situation so that leaving the note on the door and a package arriving the next day get confused.
- Create a website. Require that the customer put in a tracking number that they never received (see #1).
- Lie, lie and lie again about when you came by and when you will return. Always promise to come back the next day and not show up.
- Have a call center, but do not empower the employees as to pass back information that would result in a successful delivery. After all, you would not want to jeopardize the failure of the delivery.
- On your website, force a customer to create yet another account to leave important instructions. After all, only requiring one login account might result in a successful delivery.
Shipping Company B
Not only do shipping companies frustrate those receiving goods, they can also frustrate anyone sending a package.
- Have a website. On your website, have all sorts of “convenient” drop-off points. By “convenient”, of course, we mean going into unnamed buildings with drop-offs on second floors that probably don’t exist, and even if they do, why are you wandering around some strange building?
- Alternatively, have nearby drop-off points outside of buildings but with no visible boxes present.
- Have a store front or two or hundreds, but open late. Do not put drop-off boxes on the outside. After all, that might make you as successful as the US Postal Service.
Big Chain C
Have a large chain of stores? You are not immune to stupidity either. In fact, the larger the business, the less brain power that there is seemingly guiding it.
Here are some ways you can drive your customers away:
- Use shipping company A or B above. Don’t tell the customer this when they order.
- Refuse to ship to store. After all, such conveniences are for the unwashed masses of Walmart.
- Advertise something on your website but make it absolutely ambiguous whether or not the local store has it. Again, such niceties are for Walmart, and why would you want to stoop to that level?
- Most of all, don’t give a promised refund when the logistical company you selected refuses to do its job. Force the customer to call their credit card company and dispute the charge.
Make it Hard
In a nutshell, if you really want to run off customers, sit down and think about how you would want it to work if it were you sending or receiving goods, including contingencies since things sooner or later go wrong, and do the exact opposite. Make it as difficult for a customer to get satisfaction as possible, all the while lying to them about what you will do next, that is, if you pay any attention to them at all.