Most folks like to feel like they have some level of control.
We trust servers and salespeople to provide us a smooth process and deliver a quality product . . . one that WE choose and decide to purchase based on their advice and counsel.
This rings true in all consumer experiences.
When dining, we expect our server to tell us how things work, have good knowledge of the menu, be willing to offer advice, and ensure that our experience is smooth by being attentive to keeping our beverages filled and making empty plates disappear.
What we DON’T expect our server to do is to decide for us what we will eat and drink. After all, how could she possibly know whether I’m in a salad mood or a steak mood?
Who are they to decide what’s best for me now?
This is an egregious violation that leaves the customer feeling MORE out of control.
The truth is that many organizations and professionals frequently step over this line of who makes the decisions at great peril . . . because if their choice is wrong, the customer will not only be unhappy with the result but will also likely be furious that he was not consulted prior to the making of this decision.
Now we have trust issues . . .
lack of respect issues . . .
resentment . . .
and an unacceptable outcome/product.
The crossing of this line is often well-intentioned . . . a presumption of the sales-person who thinks she knows the customer well enough to make the decision without bothering the customer with another phone call or email.
This is a DANGEROUS game because the fall-out can be catastrophic.
This can convert a RAVING FAN into a raging malcontent with quickness.
My local bank has been growing growing growing. When I first started banking with them, they had only a few branches and are now approaching “Regional” status. Many of the same people have been serving me for all these years, and we are on a first name basis. I have been very loyal and have delivered MANY new customers to them for all these years. Other than 1 time when a drive through teller got snippy with me, I have always been tickled pink with their products and services.
“Corporate” had a great idea and decided to create a new account that they decided was a perfect fit for one of my accounts . . . and at the same time decided that it would be best for me to begin being charged $5/mth on every account that was not paperless for statements.
They could have given ample notice and advised me about these new options and asked me to decide what to do . . . but they didn’t.
I learned about all of this when I checked my accounts on-line (I do this every day) and discovered the $5 charge on every account . . . next day, I received in the mail a letter for each of my accounts telling me what they had decided would be best for me – including the newly minted account which carried with it a $7/mth service fee for an month that didn’t have an average $5,000 balance . . . Not only am I very averse to “service fees,” this was a bad fit because that account they converted is for me a “Zero Balance” account which means that all of the money that goes in immediately disburses OUT . . . ANY service fee could create HUGE overdraft issues.
Needless to say, I was outraged – Feeling betrayed and even violated . . . After all, they’re messing with my money without the courtesy of engaging me and allowing ME to make the decisions.
The icing on the cake? My “Personal Banker” has not been responsive to my emails and calls . . . She must be VERY busy fighting fires.
The jury’s still out on how this saga will end.
As much as we sales people and business owners think we know what’s best for our customers, DO NOT cross this line of making decisions for them
That’s some serious quicksand that can suck the life out of your business.