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5 Management Actions that Punish the Customer

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Have you experienced management decisions or policies that punish the customer? Building a brand isn’t always easy and we know that finding new customers is harder and more expensive than maintaining existing ones.

punish the customer

Unfortunately, sometimes organizations or brands with great potential make disappointing choices. Too often policies or procedures aren’t designed to help the customer, they are designed to protect the business. Great brands have figured out how to balance both.

Don’t Punish the Customer

Here are a few management decisions or behaviors that might be hurting much more than helping.

  1. Take a chance it will be okay. When the decision to release a product or service that is noticeably flawed in the hope that maybe the customer won’t notice or complain. Some customers will say little or nothing. They will just go away, quietly.
  2. Belief that the customer has wrongful intentions. Certainly there are some customers who have unfair intentions. However, too many rules to fight the few with wrongful intent might send a signal of mistrust to those who are loyal. Loyalty goes both ways.
  3. Insist that policy is never broken or adjusted. A policy or warranty that is never adjusted might be the first signal that a divorce is coming. A reasonable decision to resolve is better than a strong position to do nothing.
  4. Belief that questions waste time. If you are answering the same question more than once, there might be a reason. Assumptions that the customer lacks the education or intellect to understand will kill your brand. Get to the root cause. Make things easier to use, not harder to understand.
  5. Punish long-term customers. When policies or procedures are designed to give it all away to new customers and recover those costs from long-term customers you’re not being smart. You’re likely hurting the relationship and the customer experience for those who have helped you the most.

Build the Brand

One thing I’ve witnessed time and again. The best customer service and the most incredible customer experiences often come from the simplest ideas that are well executed. Therefore, brands that are built on the premise that everything they do is an investment in the future will outlast brands that feel forced to defend the past.

Most important of all, don’t punish the customer.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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