The client no longer has patience

The client no longer has patience


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80% of managers believe that their products stand out from those of their competitors, but only 8% of their customers share that opinion. According to the idea that "the guest will judge a party better than the cook", Aristotle, and in view of these data, the "cooks" do not see the signals sent by the "guests".

It should not be easy to appreciate that reality, even though there is a lot of time and money dedicated to forming business-oriented leaders. As an example, the companies of USA They spend $ 14 billion annually on leadership development and the cost of a personalized course at a business school can reach $ 150,000 per person. For despite this, one of the four most frequent mistakes of a CEO (chief executive) is to underestimate the attitude of customers and other external audiences.

It is a prior condition of the change of an attitude or behavior to identify the thoughts, assumptions and deep beliefs of the people who have a relationship with a company, inside or outside it. Very good leaders in their fields feel insecure in the face of that challenge and distrust when conversations are distanced from their strict function of experts, so that when it goes beyond the operational details and the cost management, they react with more rejection than interest.

By underestimating the attitude of clients, the root of their complaints and claims is underestimated, which are classified as passenger discomfort, either due to the fact that they are rarely formulated directly or because, when this is the case, their statistical value It is so low that they are discarded. A fatal mistake today, when social networks act as an amplifier of problems that does not require physical presence.

The empirical evidence highlights that 96% of complaints recorded on the Internet are the result of a "double deviation", and the remaining 4% is due to a simple failure in the provision of a service. "Double deviation" is key. It occurs when a company moves away from an acceptable practice and repeats it by not satisfactorily addressing this problem. The reasons alleged by customers when making such a complaint are diverse, either the product has not come out as expected, the employee has been rude or is charged an unforeseen cost.

More important than that data is the underlying effect. If in that case a company does not help the client and resists resolving the difficulty it has caused, you will see how that client adjusts accounts with her by publishing her case on social networks. The thought of betrayal, rather than dissatisfaction, is the fact that pushes online complaints and mass, immediate, irritated dissemination of that experience, it aims to warn other customers, who will take good note of it.

Ninety percent of thought is perception, and if the client perceives that this double deviation is intentional and motivated by greed, the anger will be loud. If it has been intentional and involved in kindness it will be reduced, but it will continue to be angry. If it has not been intentional there can be a possibility of reconciliation.

A company can not underestimate these issues because it is constantly threatened by the attack of its competitors, who will exploit this lack. To avoid this, you need to "position yourself". Under the idea of ​​positioning arose the castles at the time of the feudal companies, with moats dug around them to protect themselves from attacks. In the image and likeness of that time, the most deterrent pit today that a company can open is the competitive advantage. It can be obtained in several ways, although the most durable to do business is built on two types of intangible assets: patents or copyrights. An example is pharmaceutical companies, own a government license, as happens with financial rating agencies, or build an appreciated brand. The reader will have theirs.

The brand is the most malleable asset. In short, it consists of the promise that a company subscribes, above all, with its customers, its main source of income. If he complies, he is assured of the trust and even appreciation of the public, but if he betrays her, his competitive advantage disappears.

Since the construction of a brand is a long, difficult and expensive task and its value is always temporary -the cemetery of companies is full of examples-, it is much more practical to "position" and protect its value. For that reason it is very unadvisable to belittle internal and external attitudes. In a very summarized way, a customer is characterized today by being more efficient and demanding, more educated, concerned about health, supportive and responsible; more connected, more informed and very impatient, so much so that in just one year, customer claims in all sectors have multiplied almost three times.

It's a consequence of what economists call «Credibility goods»: the seller knows more about a product than the buyer, and lacking the necessary knowledge to judge the value of what is offered, thinks that someone can take advantage of it. An opinion like this harms the value of a brand and waiting for things to fix themselves, or, as Voltaire said of the doctor's role, "distracting the patient while nature heals the disease" is a big mistake. If a brand or managers of very expensive training use, as it seems, that poor resource, they lose the competitive advantage and benefit the competitor. The double deviation is proliferating as a result of robotic attention and that is something that the client is not willing to pay.

Carlos Balado (Industrial Sociologist)Carlos Balado (Industrial Sociologist)

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