Thursday, October 25, 2007

Prof IDs Types of Ticked-Off Customers

...which kind of customer are you when a company does you wrong? KSL had an article about a professor that identified three different kinds of ticked-off customers.

Utilitarian: just wants the problem fixed. Don't bother saying "Sorry," that might even be construed as trying to buy off the customer with emotion.

Oppositionals: aggressive, see the interaction as a battle. Give them options, let them feel victorious.

Relationals: all about the relationship. They want the "I'm sorry," save the compensation for after the apology.

Thinking back to three (more or less) recent experiences with big-name companies (T-Mobile, Comcast, and USAA Insurance), I think I fall into the Utilitarian category. Each time, I simply wanted them to refund me a incorrect charge, a month's payment for the month I was without service, and an incorrect late fee (respectively). I measure how sorry a company is by how willing they are to correct their mistake.

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