LIke a fresh coat of paint, an alluring offer is just the facade.

Lip Service Is Not Customer Service

I wrote recently about the gap between empowered customers and many sales and customer service teams. That post dealt specifically with the disconnect between what a company is offering online and what they’re telling you when you call them.

And that doesn’t even factor in referrals, reviews, or word of mouth.

Internet service providers (the example in that post) have a captive audience. My options, like most people’s, are limited by geography. So my choice is less about where to shop as it is about which company is least problematic right now.

There is no Amazon ISP.

Your business, though, probably can’t get away with price gouging or being crappy. And a pretty Web site with alluring offers, like a fresh coat of paint, is only the facade.

Your prospects are doing their homework:

  • They’re asking around about you before they pick up the phone.
  • They’re Googling your name.
  • They’re reading reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List, and other sites.

If your store, restaurant, clinic, or kiosk doesn’t meet expectations, I don’t walk in the door. Or I don’t buy. Or I don’t come back. Or–worse–I tell everyone how disappointed I am.

My business can’t afford to have that happen. Can yours?

Photo by Scott Robinson (Flickr).

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Comments ( 7 )

  • Diane M

    Oh, how right you are, Daria.
    Love your “no Amazon ISP” comment!

    • Thanks, Di. I thought it was a good shorthand way to make a point. 🙂

  • George Langdon

    This is a great post. I totally loved it.
    I also would never let something like this happen in my business.

    Thanks for sharing.


    • Thanks, George. I quite like that businesses can’t get away with being crappy anymore (unless, of course, you hold a monopoly on what you do).

  • Christina Pappas

    I just experienced this just this morning. I am moving on Monday and trying to setup Comcast. The online offers are not available if you call and when I called, they said the online site was broken and there is nothing they can do about it. They offered no solution to me. I just wanted basic setup and they said that cost more than a premium package but in 6 months my bill will be out of control because the cool offer will have expired. SO disappointed and extremely annoyed with this. And I dont have any other options because you cannot exactly install a dish on top of an apartment building.

    • Hi Christina,

      As a fellow high-rise dweller, I completely feel your pain because your options are limited. But the two big mistakes Comcast is making here are (1) thinking this will always be true; and (2) forgetting that just because you might not have options doesn’t mean you won’t share your frustrations and recommend everyone else take advantage of their options to sign with a different provider.

  • Diane M

    I’ve shared that pain, Christina & Daria. In Chicago you’re told what provider to use by buildings as part of move-in procedures. No choice.

    In Silicon Valley, which has few high rises except in San Francisco/Oakland, it used to be illegal if buildings refused your dish.

    Why don’t consumers revolt?!