Why your most brilliant ideas are killed in action
Don't you hate it? The moment you have a brilliant idea for your company but it is killed because of a zillion 'what if?' questions? I just hate it. If I talk to the guys from advertising agencies, it's also a frustration to them. They have this superb idea for a campaign. Everybody loves it, but by the time legal is done with it.... well, you just have a plain, average campaign left.
The same happens with a lot of customer service ideas. Most companies don’t dare to implement a return policy for goods sold. The reason: what if a certain customer takes advantage of it? What if you are not sure that the customer tells the truth? Because of these ‘what if’ questions, the great customer service idea gets killed in action.
Truth is: companies make decisions based on the 1-5% ‘what if’ situations and not on the 95%-99% of the other cases. The world famous Zappos has a 365 day return policy. Are some consumers taking advantage of this? Absolutely! But this 1%-5% of abusers is the marketing budget of Zappos. If they would kill their great customer service idea for this small percentage of losers, well, they would never been such a great company.
That’s what I love about McDonald’s. If you order food in their drive through and they forget to put something in your bag, they will always give you the food without discussion when you complain. So, if you want free food tomorrow: call a McDonald’s and say they forgot to give you a Big Mac. They will ask your address and send you some free food coupons. Great customer service!
Are people taking advantage of that? Of course! But please, don’t change the great service because of the small percentage of abusers.
My call to action: if you have brilliant ideas, don’t let them be killed in action because of the ‘what if’ question. Really, the world isn’t as bad as you think. Most consumers will be so happy with your brilliant ideas that the positive reward will always be bigger than the cost.