Recently I’ve had two really dissapointing experiences with companies that I’ve admired and sought to emulate.
One of them I’ve admired for something like 12+ years. If you asked me who the top companies in the world were, unequivocally, I’d list this particular outfit. I loved their philosophy, their marketing, their service, everything. I told people the way I felt as well. The other company was a fast growing outfit who conquered their industry and was an inspiration to me at every step of the way.
Both of these companies have clearly lost their way and it’s a cautionary tale for those of us who are running, growing, or seeking to start out on something new. The weirdest part of it is that I feel as though heroes of mine are gone.
These companies were my brands too!
How could this have been prevented? What can we learn?
- Don’t overreach – both companies broadened their product line to the point that they were doing too many things.
- Don’t ignore the small stuff. Things like consolidated invoicing don’t seem like a big thing in the developer scrum, but they’re huge to customers who are probably using all of your products because they love you.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a financial credit. Several times along the way a discount or permanent waiving of fees for what was admitted to be substandard service would have set things right in my mind.
- Don’t ever tolerate rudeness to customers by you staff. If this happens, get the staff to seak out the customer and apologise.
- Don’t blame your failings on a third party. It’s your fault for introducing the third party – third parties mean more responsiblility for you, not less.
- Don’t allow tickets to wallow unresolved for months. This just festers the entire situation.
At the end of the day, I won’t be using these providers as much anymore, and that’s sad, because I truly loved both companies. We’re probably all guilty of a some or all of the above at some point, but it’s how we respond that matters.