Customers Are Evil

31 May 2009 at 12:37 Leave a comment

If you read this article (Top 10 Lies Customers Tell Sales Reps), you might wonder how customers can be so evil.  The answer is that customers and sales reps are evil to the same degree.  There is plenty of lying and other bad behavior on both sides to spread the blame.  A better question is “why”?  Why do sales reps feel that customers lie?

One possibility is that sales reps forget one of the most fundamental facts of a market.  There must be a [willing] buyer and a [willing] seller to have a market to exchange goods and services.  This fact was true at the beginning (e.g. commerce between two individuals) and it is true now.  If each felt the other had something of roughly equivalent value, then a trade was possible.

Perhaps customers do not understand or believe the value proposition.  Do you know any customers who feel they’ve been burned by unfulfilled promises?

And yet the majority of our businesses focus solely on how to sell and not whether the customer gets what they wanted.  For example, we’ve all walked into a store, browsed the shelves and left empty-handed.  The products exist, the consumer exists, but no business occurs.

Fact is, this C2C example is exactly like B2B and B2C in the sense that if a customer is unsatisfied, they will take their business elsewhere, or forego the transaction altogether. Too many transaction-less visits — no market.  No market — who needs the seller?

Another possibility is that we place too much faith in the Field of Dreams mantra – if we build it they will come.  I worked for a company like that once.  Good company, but the objectives and value equation between buyer and seller weren’t aligned.  Bang!  No market — no company.  Unhappy ending for a lot of employees (this was in the days before bailouts if you can imagine).

The pivot point is simply this: customer perceived value ($, time, satisfaction) must be greater than sales rep actual cost and acceptable profit margin ($).  Lying customers are not the problem.

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Entry filed under: Influential Factors - Harmful, What Is Customer Service?. Tags: , , , , .

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