Not convinced? Read on…
Shortcomings: a competitive advantage in personal branding…
French opticians Krys launched a campaign in 2008 based on the slogan “You will like yourself”. “Before I was…”: “Before I was shy, but that was before”; “Before I was bald, but that was before”, “Before I was old, but that was before” were all copied and produced some memorable memes…
More recently, you have probably seen/heard/read about Meetic’s (the European branch of Match.com) most recent marketing campaign called “Love your imperfections” with the following catchphrase: “If you do not like your imperfections, someone else will like them for you”.
What about companies which are aware of their flaws?
If these two approaches are, apparently, well suited for the marketing of individuals, could the same apply to the marketing of companies? Does a company simply have to admit its flaws to subjugate the relationship it has with its customers/prospects?
Confessing might be a little too easy and not very constructive. What would clients think of a company which readily states “My products aren’t perfect”? So, rather than confessing to shortcomings, might it not be better to say “We have our share of weaknesses, we are aware of them. Sometimes our products are defective, there is room for improvement in our delivery times… But we’re working on it.”?
Managing areas of dissatisfaction can improve your customer relationship and build customer loyalty
In Marketing, anticipating dissatisfaction is the best weapon for building customer loyalty. Let us imagine a customer service department receives a claim or a complaint regarding product X. Then a second, a third… Is it really necessary to wait for fifteen people to complain about a product to react and reach out to consumers who purchased the same product? An efficient CRM tool, capable of cross-referencing requests, grouping them to foster preventive measures and communication actions would be a veritable asset.
This is something which should not be disregarded, all the more so considering that at the end of the 2000s, in France and across all sectors, revenue losses linked to poor claims management were estimated at about €9.5 billion.
An example of a customer relationship which embraces its flaws
I could have ended the article on this alarming figure. However, I would like to share something I experienced recently as a customer, and was the starting point of this article.
We are all familiar with the large furniture store IKEA, and all the criticisms leveled against it by the general public, from mediocre quality to broken parts… Did you know that it actually has a dedicated customer service for screws and bolts? If you have a screw that is askew, a bolt that is going nuts (I am not a DIY expert)… Just call this department and give the reference of the broken/missing part, no proof of purchase is required. The operator takes your information, promises the part will be sent within a matter of days and then ends by adding that this service is completely free. A free service! An actual service!! What a pleasure to receive the package a couple of days later. It felt as if IKEA had given me a new piece of furniture. The customer is happy, more loyal than ever. And the brand’s good name is restored (and to think it all started with a broken screw…). Now that’s what you call customer relations!