You’ve heard it said that when you please a customer she’ll tell an average of three other people, but when you disappoint her she’ll tell twenty. It’s not true. You may have even heard me say it. Sorry. It wasn’t true then, either.
Oh, you can bank on the part about unhappy customers telling twenty friends. But you see, it’s not the happy customers, but rather the customers who have merely had their basic expectations met, who will tell three others.
It comes down to personal experience doesn’t it? When you thrill shoppers with their purchases and the way they are treated, they are likely to become customer evangelists. They’ll be out preaching the gospel of your company and winning converts to whatever the degree of their persuasiveness. Will they tell twenty others? Highly probable.
But the extremely displeased group turn into vigilante customers. In their minds they’ve been wronged. You could just as well have “Wanted, Dead or Alive” posters up with your name on ’em, ’cause they’re out to get’cha. Tell twenty more? Count on it.
Is the opposite of love, hate? Nope. Love and hate are very much the same. Both are expressions of extreme emotional involvement with someone else. As any small child instinctively understands, the opposite of love is being ignored. The opposite of love is indifference.
And we certainly have enough indifferent customers. They form the third group: those who’s expectations have been neither exceeded nor violated. Because they don’t complain, you’ve been assuming that they’re happy. They are not. They’re merely indifferent. They don’t love you. They don’t hate you. Mostly, they just don’t care that much.
When asked “where did you buy that?” they’ll likely mention your store. Then, because they have no emotional involvement, they’ll forget about you. Tell three? If you’re lucky. Quite possibly they won’t think about recommending you at all.
Unless, of course, you manage to thrill them, to delight them, to please them to the point that they can’t wait to tell everyone they know about their personal experience with you.
How much delight can you offer?
Click here for Love And Indifference, Part 2
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