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Jon Baker

Customers Are More Evil Than Witches!

The Little Mermaid ...

Posted on: 07/01/2013   By: Jon Baker

Let's hear it for the witch! Yes that's right; I'm tired of hearing about how terrible the wicked witch in the Little Mermaid is. But first, think about your business. Have you ever sold your services to somebody who got exactly what they asked for?

would you have given Ariel a refund?

would you have given Ariel a refund?

You had given them all the details of what was good - and bad - about your service. But what if they then wanted their money back as the purchase didn't do what they hoped? How frustrating is that?

Consider the poor Sea Witch, who has gone down for all time as being nasty and evil, her reputation ruined. The Little Mermaid made a bargain, willingly swapped her voice for legs (despite all the heath and safety warnings - sorry warnings about painful feet) and that she will only get a soul if she finds true love's kiss and if the Prince loves her and marries her.

Despite these warnings she entered into a contract with the Sea Witch and then found that the Prince didn't love her. Maybe we should we feel sorry for the Little Mermaid, but how about the witch? It's the witch that has been forever portrayed as evil and I suspect her income has suffered ever since.

Perhaps if the witch had given the Little Mermaid a refund her reputation would be better. Perhaps if the witch had considered future sales, she wouldn't have worried about the value of one transaction. How so with you and your business?

Yes, I thought so. You would, maybe, give a refund?

  • Yes I'd give a refund: Probably a good idea, but what a waste. A waste of a good marketing opportunity that is. You would give a refund and yet don't advertise that fantastic selling point?

  • No, I wouldn't give a refund: You may also be right, but are you sure? Do you have a full procedure in place for dealing with things that can go wrong and do your team (including those that answer the phone for you) know what it is? Not giving a refund can work out OK, but only if handled properly.

I don't know which of those two options you would choose, but I know one thing. How problems are dealt with is critical; having people to follow a process and deal with things properly can make a huge difference. How could you improve communications with your customers?

Don't end up shunned like the witch, ensure you and your team all know how to positively handle unexpected issues that are not actually your fault.

Until next time ...


More about Jon Baker ...

After 25 successful years in blue chip companies, Jon left corporate life to focus on the needs of the small business community. Since 2006 he has trained and coached nearly a thousand professionals and business owners, from a wide range of firms.

Jon helps the professionals with 5 to 50 staff improve their performance and grow their firm sustainably and profitably whilst having fun.


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