In the spirit of love and affection as many celebrate Valentine’s Day, the day of awesome relationships, frisky friendships, risky affairs and just plain gushy lust, I thought it would be appropriate to mention the everyday occurrence of unavailable brands. You know the kind, the not so healthy, lots of issues, not worth the time and certainly not worth the loyalty—when company brands get so chilly, so unconnected and just straight up are not available to their paying customers who truly want to love them.
The sad fact is there are many brands who behave like this and then wonder why their customers cheat and defect to a younger or more loving competitor.
Here are the red flags to know when it may be time to start dating- I mean shopping around:
- You’ve got a problem and there is no phone number on their website.
- Or it takes way too long and way too much work to find it.
- Or a “contact us” form with no reply or at best a form reply that says: “we are very busy, we’ll try to get to you some day”.
- Or you call them and after 20 minutes in the phone tree jungle, you speak with a customer service rep by the name of Carol, who you can’t understand, and you know darn well no Carols’ live in that country.
It’s unfortunate there are not horse-mounted brand police that would issue costly citations when companies play like this. But then again, unhappy customers now have a voice with social media, word of mouth and on high traffic blogs, just ask Dell, Bank of America and Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Tonight at tennis I asked my buds who they thought were some of the worst offenders, the not available brands, here’s what I heard. Tazo Tea, the Starbuck’s company, Sam’s club, the Walmart Company, Skype and the Microsoft Company. I’m sure you’ve got your list too. It is a shame that these big brands would be so clueless to the basic concept that open communication is essential to keep a relationship red hot.
Smart brands who value relationships with their customers make it easy for them to talk and they listen.
How easy is it for your brand to be loved?
To learn about more brand bumps and how the got back on the saddle, view: Brand Turnaround.