Friday, December 18, 2015

CX Marriage Counseling for Consumers' and Marketers' Relationship Issues

Photo Credit: Jennifer Pahlka
via Creative Commons
Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.
We have all been in a bad relationship before.  A suitor woos us with the moon and the stars, and soon we are in the swoon of passion. Commitments are made and a honeymoon period ensues, but too quickly promises are broken. We reach out to share our needs and frustration but are left feeling emotionally abandoned. And worse yet, when we threaten to break it off, suddenly the attentive suitor is back, effusive with apologies and promises of change. And thus, the cycle continues.

Of course, I’m speaking about the state of marketing today. Marketers woo new prospects with lucrative offers not available to their loyal customers. Through careful positioning and advertising, marketers promise us the world—our internet service will be shockingly fast; our banker will give us one-to-one attention to guard our financial interests; and hot men and women will gawk in slack-jawed wonder as we pass in our new car.  But once we make the purchase and are committed to the relationship, the marketer moves on, focusing on the next prospect.

Too often, we’re left with a product that doesn’t deliver as promised--our internet service chokes while we watch a streaming movie; our bank continually adds new fees; and our car not only doesn’t cause people to gape but suffers from safety or environmental flaws. We call customer care to get some of that “customer obsessiveness” we were promised, and they refer us to the terms and conditions—that is, if someone answers the phone due to the consistently “unexpectedly high call volume.” In short, we loved the marketing, but we don’t love the experience. As the brand's commitment to us drops, so does ours for the brand, but when we threaten to switch, the marketer quickly returns with new promotions and promises. “Wait, baby, I’ve changed; it’ll be different this time!”

Consumers and Marketers currently are in a bad relationship. Consumers don’t trust marketers, with only 4% of Americans believing the marketing industry behaves with integrity, which is lower than the rating Congress earns.

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