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February 02, 2007

Ya want a customer for life . . . piss em off!

That is correct my friends.  The Antman is here with a little unconventional perspective, surprise, surprise.  Now, before I get started, our attorneys said I need to make this disclaimer:  I am not telling or suggesting you go out and hit, disparage, insult, ignore, talk smack or engage in any other type of premeditated stupidity towards your customers.  That would just be flat out dumb! 

What am I spoutin about?  Your best customers, your strongest relationships will be developed and grow from disagreement.  It ain't no thing to work with your customers when everything is runnin' smooth.  There is no challenge there.  Like any good relationship, the true value and commitment is discovered in times of difficulty. 

Look, we all get it.  It is common and straight up OK to make mistakes.  It happens all the time.  It's not the mistakes that send your customers fleeing.  It is how you choose to react.  If ya listen, show a little humility and respond, yes I said respond not REACT, ya just may do the right thing and make your customer smile. 

It works like this.  We all expect to get what we are promised.  So, ya give a little extra customer service, flash a few extra smiles you'll have some good customers.  BUT, I love this part, piss em off,  screw up bad and then go the extra mile to fix it and  in most cases you'll have a customer for life.  In desperate times your customers don't know what you are going to do.  Yo dawg, there hurtin for some love and waitin to see what you are going to do.  This is your chance.  This is where you get to EARN their trust.  The rules are out the door.  This is where you get the greatest return on your money, effort and time. 

The next time a customer is trippin and in your grill about how you screwed up, be happy inside, smile and think to yourself, "yeah boy, I got me a new lifelong customer" and then treat em with love.

They will give ya props for life! 


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Kevin Henney

Going the extra mile to correct your own mistakes can definitely build customer loyalty, but don't overlook opportunities to do the same thing without ever screwing up in the first place.

Go out of your way to help correct your customer's mistakes, even when they happen through no fault of your own. Or even better, go that extra mile to correct the mistakes of your competition. Witness SmugMug's recent move to woe Flickr users after Flickr angered it's users with recent changes to their system: http://blogs.smugmug.com/onethumb/2007/01/31/the-dark-side-of-the-flickr-acquisition

Opportunities like that may be harder to find, but making up for the mistakes of your competition can breed the same type of loyalty as correcting your own errors, but you get to play the hero without ever screwing up in the first place.


Spot on, whether you created your own problem or it is someone else's being responsive and going out of your way will only be good for you. Zero to Hero! We just have to be willing to put in the work and keep our eyes open for the opportunities. You nailed it!

Team amazing race

Exactly, whether you made your own problem or it is someone else's being receptive and going out of your way will only be good for you.

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