Love Thy Customers, Not Screw Them!

 - by JK

A lot of you liked my post on how I whacked Maxis for pretending to be customer service oriented. But what’s the real issue here?

I must admit it; I was rather cheesed of with Maxis to start with. And then they go and air that stupid ad claiming they put customer service first. Of course, I sharpened my pencil and gave them a piece of my mind lah.

Maybe I was slightly rash and less eloquent in that post. And since this is a blog about marketing communications; let’s see what really went wrong with Maxis in that perspective.

Screws

Screws come in many shapes and sizes. So who's screwing you?

Here’s what my favourite branding blog – Brand Strategy Insider – had to say about Brand Arrogance.

“Consumers don’t value brands; they value the idea the brand represents to them. This idea will always be worth more than the product, or the actual bricks and mortar of the business enterprise. When marketers behave arrogantly, the value of the idea people care about is instantly diminished. And once this happens, the road to redemption is long, difficult and expensive”

Simply put, you like a brand not because the logo is red or that the product is great. Consumers actually value the personality that the brand projects more than anything else.

It makes sense because telcos offer essentially similar products and services. But what made you choose Maxis or Digi or Celcom? Think about it.

It’s like making new friends. You only click with certain types of people; as you do with brands. But once a ‘friend’ crosses you, it becomes really hard to be good friends again. There is just something intrinsic about this process that science can’t explain.

Once you screw up with a customer (especially a loyal one), you usually have to work really hard to win him over again. And most times, the defected customer will never return.

There’s a classic Direct Marketing adage that goes like this:

It’s more profitable to retain a loyal customer,
than to attract new customers

For all the advertising and promotions brands conduct to conquest new customers, why not sincerely care for existing customers instead? Those who are already customers may even advocate the brand to their friends and family for free.

And we all know nothing beats the power of word-of-mouth communication.

Clearly Maxis does not see it that way. I guess we are nothing but Ringgit signs that make their cash registers go Ka-Ching!


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