Business, brands and the blindingly obvious: turn poor customer service into a virtue

How to make an honest deal with your customers

How to make an honest deal with your customers

Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Blindingly obvious. So why do so many brands and businesses persist in creating illusions of customer service they simply cannot fulfil ? If I know what I am getting /signing up for, that’s cool. If you over promise and don’t deliver, I get mad, I tell my friends how mad I am with you , I start writing letters, or posting on social networks about how hacked off I am with you and maybe I don’t ever come back to your store. Brands need to be honest about their operational capabilities, customers will love them all the more for their honesty. Moreover, we won’t loathe them for letting us down. Obvious.

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA is a great example of the art of not over promising.  Not only that, they make a virtue of their lack of customer service. We have all been and had family rows in their stores and been irate about their returns policy and nearly killed ourselves or a loved one wrestling with an IKEA self assembly erection! But they don’t promise it will be easy, quite the reverse. IKEA ran an in-store communications campaign themed ‘Why ? That’s why!’  designed to reiterate what customers get in return for all that hassle… you pick up your stuff yourself from their warehouse, transport and build  it all yourself …. and in return you get exceptional design at eye-wateringly cheap prices – ‘Why ? That’s why!’ explained that at key ‘moments’ in the shopping journey, reminding you of the customer service ‘deal’ you are making with the store. Ultimately you only have yourself and your wallet to blame for the trials of the purchase , self selection and self assembly. You can’t loathe IKEA for under-delivering.  They never promised anything extra.

What can brands learn from IKEA’s approach? Simple. Don’t over promise. Explain what the deal is. Stick to it. Done. Obvious. Check out the blog list of the top ten ‘not so excellent customer service’ issues below for more.


Innovation expert with experience across multiple sectors, businesses and brands. Into digital, marketing, strategy, ideas and helping everyone explore their inner innovator.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Case Studies, Customer Experience, Retail Innovation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blogs I Follow
Recent Comments
Art by Ken

The works and artistic visions of Ken Knieling.


This site is the cat’s pajamas

Helen Weavers's Blog

Stuff I think about...

National Media Museum blog

We explore the science, technology and art of the still and moving image, and its impact on our lives.

Alopex on Innovation

Turbulent Global Markets.....Helping Firms Survive, Thrive, and Grow Through Innovation


Technology news, trends and analysis covering mobile, big data, cloud, science, energy and media

Technology |Mobile | Marketing

Where Marketing Meets Technology

The Ideas Machine

We drive growth with insight led innovation

The Management Library

Leadership in many Words

Patient experience and Co-Creation in Health

Co-creating patient experience in health, pharma and wellbeing

Dan Ariely

My Irrational Life

Little Lewes

Things to do with kids in and near Lewes, East Sussex

Cansolve's Weblog

Just another weblog

Building A Business While Having A Life

%d bloggers like this: