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October 13, 2008

Push vs fetch

Never underestimate the power of the exacting customer.

The exacting customer has high standards. There's also a chance the exacting customer is exacting because he knows your product almost better than you do. He knows the difference between what it is and what it could be and is prepared to think about it and talk about it. That's what makes him exactlng.

Those people who want something more and are committed to high standards and know your product are the best possible allies to have for business development.

Those businesses that don't have the wherewithal to harness this force are at a commercial disadvantage compared to those that do. It's a principle of judo that strength comes from working with an approaching force and not resisting it.

The companies whose customer service departments feel the need to shore up the way things are done in the face of such challenge are on a losing ticket if resistance to the exacting customer turns those people away from the brand.

Fulfilling business experiences are all about creating an adaptive fit. When the opportunity for generating one with an exactlng customer is thwarted, a brand has created exactly the opposite of what it intended. It has done nothing to fetch new customer opportunities, and done everything to push them away.

And being the informed folks they are, it is with some authority the exacting customer will tell their other exacting friends. Exacting people form opinions and exacting customers that are thwarted make pretty powerful opinion formers.

I'd like to thank O2 for being such a brand. The immovable inflexibility that emanated from their customer service department this morning created this post. Exacting energy always gets put to good use, for or against.


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