Being Married to Your Customers
From my article appearing at Trincon.net:
There is a good deal of “black humor” surrounding the analogy between sales work and dating, and between customer relationship management and a marriage. The joke that applies immediately after the marriage ceremony is this: “Now, a lifetime of good customer service to ensure retention!”
In both marriage and business, the cost of not having a good relationship can be very high. It costs a lot to get divorced: some estimates I have seen state that the average cost of a contested divorce is about $50,000—and that is just considering legal/mediation fees.
If you have been around multiple businesses, you know that there is often a negative tendency to attribute differing priorities between the company and the customer to “unreasonableness”. If the customer wants something that the company doesn’t seem to be able to provide, the company is being “unreasonable”. Likewise, the company thinks that the customer is “unreasonable” for wanting what it wants. If you have been around enough marriages, you’ll see the same negative tendency.
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