Cafe Witness

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Why Break Down When You Can Build Up?

Since it's so easy to find information about anything -- or anyone -- online these days, each of us now has a certain responsibility every time we type a word, record a syllable or post a video to the web: we have the power to create or destroy.

I Know I've Got a Bad Reputation... And It Isn't Just Talk, Talk, Talk...

By now, we all know the power of Jeff Jarvis's dissatisfaction with Dell: he complained about their poor customer service on BuzzMachine and became the leading spokesperson about their business practices.

If someone is dissatisfied with YOUR business, product or services, the damage they can do to your brand and reputation is far greater than the good they could do if they were madly in love with you. Why? Because it's been proven through numerous consumer behavior studies that customers are nearly 10 times more likely to tell their friends about a BAD experience they had with a business than they are to relate a GOOD experience.

People take good service for granted. People EXPECT you to deliver what you promise.

But if there's a wrinkle in the plan, their good graces go out the window.

Suddenly, your five minute delay or minor hiccup could cost your customer time or money -- and their vitriolic review of you online (or to their friends, who could ALSO bash you online) could cost YOU even more.

And yet... instead of sitting around complaining about the ills of the world, think of how much more productive we could be if we all spread the word about the POSITIVE experiences we have.

Pass It On

Someone you know is taking part in a cancer run. Someone else is volunteering at a daycare or a homeless shelter. And someone else is trying to figure out what, exactly, to do about Darfur.

Does everyone else in your social circle know about these compelling individuals? Does everyone you connect with have an avenue to assist these folks in whatever way they can?

Probably not.

Probably because you took your ten minutes of blogging or Twittering time today to update people about how lousy you feel, or how pressured, or how something important broke, or how angry you are at a waitress or clerk or civil servant who didn't move your day along as fast as possible.

So, instead of linking the people you know to the information you KNOW they should be aware of, you instead become yet another voice of dissent in their lives. You may be amusing, you may be insightful, you may be hysterical -- most of all, you may be RIGHT -- but the one thing you're NOT doing is ADDING to the conversation.

Think about it: would you rather your friends all go to bed tonight knowing that TalkShoe is helping Kiva finance small businesses in developing countries through their Talkathon, or knowing that traffic was horrible both to AND from Wendy's, and that your hamburger was undercooked?

There are millions of people out there who are dissatisfied about something. That's why spreading good news tends to stand out so clearly: no one else is doing it.

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2 Comments:

  • Great thoughts in this post. The word blog is generally considered to be ugly, but frankly most blogs are ugly for the very reasons you state. A few minutes on the Kiva.org site should convince most people to become a part of this true movement to help save a lot of people from misery, poverty and possibly starvation. We are maintaining the http://talkathon.org site and will be continually adding recordings to it.

    Randolph R

    By Anonymous Randolph R, at 1:54 AM  

  • Great stuff, Justin!

    I try to highlight both the good and the bad in my blog.

    Keep up your great work...

    By Blogger Nairobi Paul, at 7:30 AM  

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