I have noticed that more often than I’d like, products and services I purchase are not really what I was expecting – at least not entirely. Why is it ok to leave information out? Do they think we won’t notice?
So many of these companies that offer “half stories” are accepted as “that’s just how it is”. They seem to go with the line of thought – Don’t tell the whole story and hope the consumer just deals with it. I think this disturbing mostly because we do, indeed, just take it and move on. Like it or not we accept that this is how things are.
As a business owner, I think it’s important to let my customers know as much as possible upfront so they can make the decision based on the full offer, not our gimmick. I hope the information is as complete and upfront as possible. The theory is, when you’re honest and open with people, they’ll come back. When you’re sincere with your sales pitch, and the purchaser is happy with their purchase, they’ll tell their friends.
Twice this year I have had issues with one company, my cell phone service. Twice I have gone into the store to purchase an item, sign a ridiculously long contract yet making sure to get all the information upfront about what I am getting into. I explained to the sales person what I was looking for and why I was making the purchase so they could offer any additional information. Twice I have found myself in the midst of monstrous bills with charges I didn’t expect due to lack of information. And I mean, monstrous!
Is it my job as a consumer to make sure I know the ins and outs of the product lines and services offered? i don’t think so. I think it’s my job as a consumer to make sure I ask questions… but ultimately it’s the responsibly of the sales and marketing teams to make sure consumers know what they are really buying.
In the case of the cell phone issues, twice now I’ve had to deal with customer service and get fees reversed – this in turn is costing the cell company money they shouldn’t have to spend. First they lose money for the charges that I unknowingly racked up that they reverse and then they lose money paying for the employees that have to handle the issue. Silly I think. More silly, I accept it because I’d rather just deal with it than pay to get out of my contract. That’s not right!
It’s much better to be up front in the beginning. If people don’t like what you have to offer, don’t sneak around the corner to offer the same thing in a new box. Don’t pretty up the offer just to get the sale. In the end, the consumer will find out the truth, they will be more unhappy they were decieved and you will have lost the potential of not only return buyer purchases, but referral purchases.
So long story, get to the point… Be honest. Be open. Be upfront. Be Happy!