We have entered an interesting part of small business mentality in our country. While you think that consumers would be looking for better deals, they are looking for better quality – both in products and in service.
No more is the company that spends the most or has the most attractive spokesmodel the first choice. Word of mouth marketing is a huge part of new business for small businesses that do good by their clients – and will be a detriment for small businesses that do wrong by their clients.
Throughout this recession, one of the worst in recent times, if not in our country’s history – consumers have been very careful spenders. Companies that add the most value have done well. (Read: Companies with the most value per dollar have done well.) In my experience, that doesn’t necessarily mean that companies that charge less do better.
I actually had a ‘discussion’ with a door to door salesman for a cable company in my area. (I don’t want to name names, but let’s say it rhymes with Mensfight). When my wife and I moved into our house in Blacklick, we had signed up with this cable company, because they were cheap and did a better job of marketing in our area. Just a few months into our deal, we were frustrated by a poor product and even worse customer service. When AT&T U-Verse was introduced to our area, I jumped at the chance to switch. Even though they cost more and were unproven. I was THAT ready to get rid of Mensfight.
Well, when Mensfight started knocking door to door trying to win their lost business back (18 months later), not only was it too late, but I wasn’t interested. Their sales weasel came into my backyard while I was mowing the grass, basically forcing me to stop what I was doing to have a conversation with him. He asked if I knew how much was paying for cable and when I told him that I wasn’t exactly sure – he mocked me by asking how in the world would I not know how much I pay for cable? He actually said – “maybe your wife pays the bills since you aren’t sure.” It took all my patience to not turn the mower back on and chase him out of my yard.
About a month later, another sales rep again interrupted my wife and I working in the yard. This sales guy, taking a page from sales weasel #1, asked if I knew how much I was paying, and that their service was far cheaper. I told him that I wouldn’t take their service for free – that’s how bad it was. And I didn’t care about listening to how they’ve improved their customer service either – I’m ok with paying for a superior product. And I think the average consumer is as well.
Bottom line – take care of your customers, it’s far easier to keep them happy than to win them back.
And don’t send sales weasels to interrupt people from working in the yard.