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In response to the antics involved in the scenarios featured here, a number of questions are often asked and remarks made:

  • That feels like a lot of effort!
  • Why are you so cruel to those poor people?!?
  • What exactly is wrong with you?
  • You’re such an arsehole!
  • Why?

There are few responses to all of these, which make quite a lot of sense.

Many companies have rigid processes in place when dealing with customers, with customer support being seen as a cost centre. This results in automation, canned responses, limited training and a lack of support being provided to front-line customer service people and, far too often, a complete lack of ownership being taken by staff specifically and companies generally.

This has given rise to a culture of acceptance amongst many people, stating that company X or organisation Y is generally inept, has no interest in treating their customers respectfully and is out to “rip off” everyone. Even though such strong feelings are typically heard about a great many companies all over the world, the manifestation is a level of apathy when being subjected to such conduct that has a financial or non-financial detriment to customers.

The majority of people will not accept poor treatment from their family and friends and the majority of employers don’t tend to tolerate poor conduct on the part of their employees. By the same token, customers should not be expected to tolerate indifference and disregard on the part of organisations that they are funding the existence of via their patronage.

Regardless of the impact experienced by someone when a provider of product or services fails to deliver as advertised, the way the incumbent reacts to this is key. There are countless examples of companies rectifying issues well, and at least one of the contributors to UA is sure to recognise this when experienced and sends positive feedback frequently and those interactions are the differentiation between an organisation that properly understands the fact that their operating costs are funded by their customers and one that does not.

Whether the impact is a surcharge of 33 cents due to failures of technology or being expected to sleep in an airport overnight, sometimes the only way to get a service provider, goods seller or consultant to do the right thing is to be at least a bit of an Arsehole.