Your first reaction to this question is to say “of course not.” No sane company in today’s economy—or any economy for that matter—wants to irritate its customers. That’s a no-brainer, right?
What would your customers say if they were asked? What irritating policies and procedures does your company have in place? Here are a few examples that I have run across recently:
I was charged an additional $1.50 for a small paper cup of salsa during a business breakfast that cost $42 for three people—plus the tip
I was refused a discount oil change at a car dealership because my coupon expired three days beforehand. Think about this—there I am, a qualified car buyer with nothing to do while my car is being serviced but wander around the dealership looking at their inventory of new and used cars. The dealer is spending big bucks to bring people like me into their store and the guy in service sends me away because my coupon expired three days ago.
I called a liquor store where I do much of my business to ask for advice from the owner about what wine I should send to a discerning friend. The OWNER told me to go to their Web site and make a selection. I was looking for personal attention; I was looking for help. What I got was “go to our Web site,” along with a hint of disdain that I didn’t know they had a Web site. I can and will go to another store’s Web site where the wine is probably cheaper.
So here’s the question: What are you doing to irritate your customers? What are you not delivering that they are expecting? Where are you nickel-and-diming them for products or services they think they have already paid for in the initial price? What are you doing, or not doing, that causes you to fall short of their expectations and make them shake their heads about your company?
Customers make huge decisions over little issues. Realtors will tell you that people buy houses because they like the dining room chandelier or the color of the carpet in the playroom. What little things are you doing to drive your customers away?
The bottom line: Does your customer feedback process enable you to identify and correct small irritants before your customers leave?