Bite Size Management Thoughts by Dr. Constantine Kiritsis
(with Dr. Antony Michail)
Almost every successful organization is focusing more on what they call “customer centricity”, or “customer experience”. In essence, organizations are putting the customer at the center of everything they do. We all have heard of the classic quote “the customer is always right”. It’s great to put the customer at the center of everything. After all, they are the people who pay, so we need to respect and appreciate that. Today's customers read 6 - 12 reviews prior to deciding whether or not to buy a product or service online (or ask friends and family to get a second opinion). However, it may be that customers are getting a bit spoiled, as they are ‘aware’ of this exceptional focus, the awards that companies try to receive by independent organizations, the increased transparency on social media, the ‘haters’ online and in some cases they may take advantage of it. This new era of openness and transparency have the companies on guard and they need to protect themselves. A bad review online may create negative reputation while a video posted online of an unfortunate incident (like for example the famous United Airways video) can not only damage reputation but also affect the stock price(!).
As customers, we have the most power we ever had historically. We need to use it the best way always taking into consideration how our acts and comments might damage the organizations we purchase from. As the ancient philosopher, Plato argued, “pan metron ariston’ which means “all in good measure”. Let's make sure we use our tremendous power ethically and logically. Having power does not mean abusing it. It means that we can also help the organizations we like to get better. Marketing professionals know that Marketing has changed in the sense that it has become a ‘service’ to customers. Constructive criticism and feedback are good and must be praised and dealt with.
Finally, customers must also be aware of the importance of a negative review vs. cyberbullying. The former is about reporting a bad experience. In this case, customers seek to inform others and receive a response from that company. The latter is about attacking a business in an abusive or blatantly false manner (which you may be prosecuted for). Therefore, next time we feel we need to make a negative comment...let's do with the purpose of helping companies and customers alike!