Business Failures: Contempt for Customers

The number 1 reason why businesses fail: contempt for customers, often translated and dressed up as falling sales, or loss of revenue. It probably used to take over 10, maybe even 50 years, before it completely collapsed, but today I don’t think that is feasible. Word of mouth travels too fast today.

Companies can spend as much as they like to keep good face. Money will be misallocated on public relations, campaign contributions, sweet talking and bribing big media people to lace every “report” with hyped talking points, and getting writers to spread positive, albeit ridiculous and nonsensical, counter points electronically, or in whatever medium they can flood.

However, nothing matches the fine fury of a person(s) who feels pissed off, gypped, robbed, and treated like fecal matter by a company. And the larger the organization, guarantees the hotter the raging inferno of consumer discontent.

Customer complaints are not hard to find. Before I make an expensive purchase, I review the angriest comments first. I always do. I don’t look at complimentary words: I suspect they were bought and paid for. If the story is reasonable, I take them into consideration. It does not mean that I would be dissuaded from making the purchase, but it fits into the aspect of “buyer beware.”

Fix It, Don’t Suppress It

Companies should embrace consumer complaints, and not try to snuff out, or execute, the people making them. Of course, there are people who are miserable about anything and are vindictive. However, if there’s a pattern, they should fix the issue, and stop hiding from it. A re-evaluation of the organization – top to bottom – should not be just a management fad, but an endeavor to help it survive long term.

I’ve worked for enough companies to realize that a lot of employees are not encouraged, or motivated, to function at anything besides the most basic, lowest, borderline level of service, competence, or concern about their work. They are as dismayed by management insouciance as the customers they have to interact with. If employees are indifferent, hostile or contemptuous they are only reflecting the incentives and culture cultivated by upper management.

Government Cannot Save Them

So, my feeling is this: the use of all these government funds, our tax dollars, to rescue failed or failing corporations is a waste of time, money, resources, and cripples future sentiment among the public to assist other organizations. No matter how much a portion of the economy a failed company claims to have, and it could be due solely to monopoly practices and political bribes, if it is dysfunctional, stagnant, contemptuous of its consumers, and poorly run – there will never be enough money to save it.

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