One of the fastest ways to lose customers is to let them know that you don’t care about them. Make it clear that you are in business for yourself, not for them. When they question you, assert your authority, cite policy and turn a deaf ear to their concerns.
Now what blogger, internet marketer or entrepreneur would build their business around those practices?
Very few, to be sure.
That’s because most bloggers and internet marketers have learned to be humble enough to listen to the concerns of their clients. Beyond that, they actually seek the feedback of their customers so they can make their businesses even more relevant and valuable.
Beyond humility and responsiveness, the wisest entrepreneurs have even developed a deep sense of gratitude. They are grateful for a great many things, but there are few things they are more grateful for than their clients and customers. And in their wisdom, they make a regular practice of developing ways for expressing this humility and gratefulness to their clients.
Relationship Marketing: How To Screw It Up
The power of relationship marketing is rooted in your ability to be humble in your business, responsive to your clients’ needs, and ever grateful for their following and support.
So, here’s how one brick and mortar business I recently had dealings with, that screwed all that up.
My Wells Fargo Review
I was recently involved in a real estate transaction in which I was the seller. The buyer of the property was approved for a mortgage from Wells Fargo.
First, things don’t always go smoothly in real estate transactions.
Second, I was not Wells Fargo’s client, the buyer was.
Nonetheless, from my perspective, Wells Fargo seemed to go way beyond the call of duty in making it clear that they either didn’t care about, or knew nothing about relationship marketing.
The closing for the property was delayed numerous times because Wells Fargo was “not ready” to close.
I asked my attorney for an approximate closing date because so many arrangements hinged on it. I was told that Wells Fargo would not communicate with them, only with their client, the buyers of the property. I spoke with the buyers. They couldn’t get any target date. I tried calling Wells Fargo, but had no success.
I found a Wells Fargo Facebook page and voiced my concern there. I found a customer service email address and wrote to them there. Eventually, I did receive a phone call from someone at Facebook. I don’t remember if it was in response to my Facebook query or my email. But a representative did call me.
I explained to her how many things were dependent on having some “ballpark” idea of when the closing might occur. Her response was typical of the runaround I had been getting so far:
She told me she couldn’t give me any information because I was not Wells Fargo’s client. I asked if she could let the buyer’s attorney know something. She said no, Wells Fargo would only communicate with their client, the buyer. I asked if they would then please communicate to the buyer when the property might be ready to close… just a rough idea.
She told me she could not tell me whether or not Wells Fargo would communicate that to the buyer. When I asked her why she couldn’t tell me if they would communicate the matter to the buyer, she told me she couldn’t tell me why because I was not Wells Fargo’s client, the buyer was.
Ok. Enough already.
I get it.
They won’t tell me what’s going on, they won’t tell their client, they’ll pretend to care about people by setting up Facebook pages and customer service departments, and they’ll even… after a great deal of arm-twisting… call me to let me know they care but won’t give me any information that might be helpful in any way at all.
I guess you could say that this is an example of relationship marketing… an example of how to do everything you can to avoid it, that is.
It seems to me that Wells Fargo doesn’t care one way or another if I ever become a client of theirs. Otherwise, they’d be far more courteous and helpful. I mean really helpful, not fake helpful.
At the very least, they’d be more helpful to their actual clients, which, I was clearly led to believe, they were not.
So, maybe they didn’t even care about having their existing client’s repeat business. Or, so it would seem.
And, certainly, as a marketer yourself, you probably don’t care about Wells Fargo’s business practices and customer service.
I don’t really care, either, except to repeat that I’ll not be likely to ever do business with them again in any manner, either as a customer or party to a transaction involving them.
But I do care about avoiding the appearance of arrogance and simply not caring about my customers.
And I’d even venture a guess that you care about this, too.
Thank You, Wells Fargo
So, I think you and I might be truly grateful to Wells Fargo for a lesson in how NOT to build good relationships with people… customers, clients, and prospects.
This way, we can see clearly how to avoid these boorish business practices, and remind our clients of how grateful we are for their business, and how we will humbly serve their needs because of their confidence in us.
So, for this important lesson to bloggers, internet marketers and entrepreneurs of every stripe, I say, “Thank You, Wells Fargo.”
Quick Self-Assessment Quiz
Do you humble yourself when dealing with your customers and clients, or do you remind them that you’re too important to be concerned with their petty issues, or customer support?
Are you truly grateful for their business, or do you take it for granted, and expect even more because you are so good at what you do?
And, finally, are you truly responsive to your clients’ needs? Do you ask them regularly (maybe with surveys, for instance) how you can serve their needs better? If so, do you actually take steps to serving their needs better?
I’d love to hear your responses in the comments section below.
And don’t forget to share this article on your social sites. I appreciate it!