"I just couldn't believe it!" Ross was practically beside himself as he recounted the story, "Here we are, their customer, having spent thousands with them, and they were acting like it was all our fault that we were getting nothing from the system!" "And what about all the challenges you were having with it?" I asked.
"That was our fault, too. We apparently aren't smart enough or dedicated enough to use it."
I spent more time with Ross, discussing the needs his business had for a tool to help track critical business information through his business, and we came up with some idea about what to do next.
Needless to say, the plans didn't include their former vendor.
I admit to being more than a little surprised with the way some businesses are treating their customers these days. They seem to think that you -- as their customer -- are a necessary evil. Like their products are perfect and if you would just be smart enough to use it, you'd be fine. They are getting in a fight with their customers.
I actually spend more time than you'd think unraveling situations like this and working with my clients to find a path that will work for them.
I will also say that technology is a fickle mistress. There are times it works amazingly well, and times when it fails miserably. Unfortunately, there are times when it's the same technology succeeding or failing, and the reasons are hidden and their appearance fleeting. The good news, though, is that there's always a solution.
If you'd like to let me know some of the things that are frustrating you right now, drop over to the survey and let me know.
This all came back to me last week. I was invited to participate on a call with a couple of "Internet Marketing Experts." Always open to new ideas and to hear what others are doing that's successful, I dialed in. However, I didn't last long.
I had just entered the call when one of the hosts started his introduction, "Today," he said, "we know you're on this call to learn money-sucking strategies..." and that was all I heard. I hung up. Maybe I should have kept listening to see what I could have learned, but some things are too important to me, and he was violating one of them: integrity. I have no interest in "sucking" money from someone. Nor do I teach it to my business and entrepreneurial clients.
It bothered me enough that I brought it up with my coach, Matt Furey, when we spoke later in the week.
"I don't like it," I said to him. "It's about providing value. When we provide more value than we ask in return, it all works. When we don't..." I let it trail off. "Exactly!" he said. "More so now than it has been for the past few years. Some people just don't realize it, yet.
"Be clear about the value you generate," he continued. "Make sure that you know what it is and how your clients see it. Then always deliver more than they expect."
Good advice. I follow it and you should, too.
Let's go! ssh