We no longer live in a day where companies taking advantage, misleading, or mistreating customers goes unnoticed. And now, more than ever, consumers are paying attention to how companies are treating their customers. That is evident by the flood of social media posts with customers sharing details of how specific companies are mistreating and taking unfair advantage of customers during this time of crisis. And more and more customers are coming together to file class-action lawsuits against companies like the one just filed against five Canadian Airlines that have all refused to give refunds to customers whose flights were cancelled.
Whether those consumers suing end up winning that case or not, those companies lose. Because the stain to their company’s reputation will cause far more damage to their bottom line (not to mention the legal feels they will incur defend their decision) than issuing refunds would have. No potential customer out there wants to transact business with a company that treats their customers unfairly, especially at a time like this! Now is the time for companies to bend over backwards to treat their customers right!!
And for every one customer being mistreated, thousands, even millions hear about it…that is the power that social media and the internet have given to the customer. With eyeballs around the globe glued to social media and the news to pass the time while trapped at home their “buyer beware” stories are more widely read than ever before.
My advice to companies is this: Now, more than ever, you need to show that you are a company of integrity that treats its customers right. Show you care about the hardships your customers are going through. It’s not about you – it’s about them – because they are the customer and they are the reason your business exists in the first place. And you need them now more than ever for your company to succeed going forward.
At some point this virus will subside, but reputations of companies who have treated their customers poorly during this period will not….
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )