So, I was thinking the other day about my "Why Hookers Need Pimps" post. If you haven't read it, you should. A lot of good, very useful information there to set you on the road to better marketing and selling.
If you haven't read it, go here: http://young-buck-marketer.blogspot.com/2010/11/why-hookers-need-pimps.html
And then come right back.
OK, now, I am assuming you're up to speed. Pressing forward...
I realized there are more similarities to the seller/pimp-customer/hooker relationship than I at first imagined.
Truth is, all sellers are pimps. All buyers are hookers. The problem, though, is that many sellers become "abusive" pimps.
No, I don't mean your baby-power B**** slapping your clients... not in the physical sense. But to some degree, you may be.
How You Make Dealing With Your Company A Pain, And Not A Pleasure
Listen - you're not the government. People don't have to deal with you if they don't want to. They aren't threatened with jail if they refuse to buy your product(s)/service(s) and give you money.
No way, bubba.
So, logically... you want dealing with you to be 95%+ pleasant, and 2% not-so-great (if they go over the return policy, a product doesn't arrive when it was supposed to, product is damaged, doesn't meet expectations, etc).
Believe it or not, once a customer has bought into your Kool-Aid, they'll stick around... as long as you don't make an effort to drive them away.
The Art of Pimp Slapping Your Clients
OK, what happens if a pimp beats on his ladies too much, too hard, too often? Well, three things:
1) She leaves his slap-happy ass for another cane wieldin' daddy (who probably breaks the previous pimp's nose) (Goes to a competitor)
2) She gets together a bunch of other angry hoes and kills him (Boycotts your business - spreads words about your con-artist ways
3) She sticks around for the abuse because she's scared and eventually takes it to a higher level for one reasoner or another - the Popo's (police)(She gets together attorneys and other unhappy clients for a potential class action lawsuit)
None of those sound particularly appetizing, right?
But it does happen. I've seen it happen.
But let me be clear: it only happens when every interaction your client has with you is unpleasant
Here are a few examples of "slaps":
1. Charging for something and not telling them ahead of time the charge will appear
2. Not IMMEDIATELY refunding for an overcharge
3. Not immediately refunding their money for a returned item
4. Making the buying process a headache
5. Giving your customer a sub-standard product and telling them it's "gold" in your materials
6. Having apathetic or poor customer service
7. If something does go wrong, not keeping them up to speed at each step
8. Quoting "policy" at them (and calling it policy)
9. Not "rewarding" them for good behavior
10. Over promising, under delivering (kinda like #5)
11. Not quickly and efficiently replacing a lost or damaged item (never leave it to UPS or the carrier - you're pretty much sending your customer to a dark cavern from which they'll never return if you do)
12. Not fixing a problem if their order CONSTANTLY yields lost or damaged items (if you're getting daily phone calls in the 10+ range of people's items being damaged on arrive, you've got a MAJOR problem)
13. Not going above and beyond the call of duty when something goes wrong
14. Making them go through the CUSTOMER SERVICE HELL (which is worse than voicemail hell)(I'll explain this more in a future blog post)
There you have it. Those are the biggest, most common "Customer Slap Tactics" I've seen. And I know. Before entering into the copywriting/marketing world, my wife and I both had customer service jobs.
I personally know what major complaints customers have.
So, here is my advice: print out those "14 Slap Tactics" and go through them. If you have a company, make sure you're not doing ANY of them. If you're a consultant, make sure your client stops doing them.
I'd also pick up a copy of "Word-of-Mouth Marketing" by Jerry Wilson. A great book.
And then, check out www.Zappos.com. I personally know people who've bought from them (I'm not in the market for shoes right now). And everyone is happy. They avoid those 14 Slap Tactics like the plague they are.
Keep them in mind. You'll be glad you did.
Over and Out,