A friend went into business last week selling mailing lists he’s made up. Yes, that’s right, he’s selling the product of entire afternoons at the keyboard entering one false name and email address after another.
Sure enough, his first customer complained. My friend, Marco, assured him that all the names were legitimate. Not only that, he assured them they’d all opted in for body-part-enlargement email promotions. The customer never called back.
I took him aside and explained, “Marco, you lost their trust. You can’t do business without customers’ trust.”
He didn’t believe me, so I showed him an article in the current DM Review, “Trust is the New Money” by John Bostick.
“See, Marco? Trust is important. It says so right here in the first 1200 words in just about every way possible.”
After a moment’s thought, he asked, “OK, so what am I supposed to do?”
The author has thoughts on how to gain trust. I read the advice to Marco: “Process is not enough. The synergy of process and service is what’s required to be successful. Intelligent process design will get you in the game, but it won’t keep you there.”
Marco didn’t get it. “Huh?” he said.
I reassured him. “It explains. It says, ‘Process must be leveraged by the customer’s immediate experience—the benefits tied to the emotional rewards gained by those engaged in the service.'”
He looked more puzzled than ever, but I was sure it would clear up soon. They don’t waste 1400 words in serious magazines like DM Review!
I said, “Wait, Marco. Here it is. Here’s the secret.” I read, “‘Going forward, successful organizations need to weigh their limited resources against their service offerings (the core) in order to deliver a customer experience that meets or exceeds expectations.'”
He shrugged. “What the hell does that mean?”
I said, “I think what he’s trying to say is that you gotta focus on what your business is really all about. Then you have to make sure customers get what they bargain for, if not more.”
Marco’s a simple guy. “Why didn’t he just say that? Is he trying to impress someone with all that bullshit about ‘going forward’ and weighing your ‘service offerings’?”
“Well, because if the author wrote it that way, no one would believe he knew anything. He’s wants to sound professional.”
Marco thought about it. “You sound professional by not saying what you want to say?”
“No, you say it so that people who read your stuff don’t understand you and think you’re smarter than they themselves are.”
Finally, Marco understood. He’s now exceeding his customers’ expectations by delivering more made-up names than they pay for.