Why being nice is less successful: 20 tips for the asshole factor


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A topic on which the minds differ: How much customer service is good to be successful? The more the better, most will say. But now consider the most successful ones Company our time or various Berümtheiten, then you may come to a different answer.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Your company as a real brand! Do like Steve Jobs

Dealing with customers. How else should we learn it better than if we are customers ourselves and analyze the behavior of those who want to sell us something? Wolfgang Hanfstein recently reviewed the book “Inside Apple”. Its author Adam Lashinsky analyzed Steve Jobs' secret of success and then gave his readers the following advice to be successful: “Be arrogant. Don't listen to your customers. Treat your employees as if they were idiots. Act like an asshole. ”

Does this only work with stars? I think that's a mistake: The tactic of making yourself a myth in this way works within certain limits even for many would-be stars.

It depends on authenticity and authenticity

But also in the Italian Bologna, I have recently run an example of this: Is there a rather crazy Osteria: run down, loom, no food and customer service is a foreign word. But the store is running like greased. What is his success secret?

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When talking about marketing and customer service, fast phrases such as "all-time" or the customer's every need to be noticed. What is often forgotten is that it also depends on authenticity - and on making it an unmistakable brand. After all, customers do not just care about good service - they always want what everyone else wants.

Is customer service too nice? Help, penetrative seller

In addition: Who does not know the penetrative salesperson who chats you until we take flight in exasperation? Or the “nice” employee who loudly trumpets his saying on the phone (brand: my ear drops off) - we needed a little information. But there are also examples in which we have negative dealings with customers because, for example, customer service is not even available.

One thing is clear: if we walk through the world consciously and openly and take a little analytical look at the numerous daily illustrative examples, we practically experience first-hand which marketing methods have a positive effect on customers - and we always find out how to deal with his customers better not to deal with. However, we probably notice the negative things more than the positive things - this is completely normal, but one more reason to consciously pay attention to the positive things.

Courage wins: yelling at customers is allowed

The former boss of that Osteria in Bologna took exactly that to heart: he only opened when he felt like it and he shouted at guests who didn't suit him or threw them out completely.

And while all other easteries offered their guests food to make more money, the Osteria del Sole remained the original concept of only wine. The guests can buy and bring the food at the nearby Mercato di Mezzo.

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Courage to snotty: Score with authenticity

The guests seem to love exactly this courage to be agile: in the meantime, the pub is operated by the grandchild. The guests are not shouting any more, but the Osteria is known throughout the area - and attracts a diverse audience of managers and students, young and old.

Why? Because it is authentic from the standing toilet, whose key is hanging on a pipe, right down to the slightly down-to-earth overall location. And known.

The asshole factor: oasis in the service desert Germany?

What does that mean for marketing? Certainly not that you should shout at your customers more often, then they will probably be gone at some point. Especially in the service desert of Germany, companies are certainly well advised to respond to the wishes of their customers.

You can do this with real good ideas - but not with cheap marketing tricks. In the latter, this idea is likely to fall, which at first glance sounds really cool: Free massage for passengers in local trains! The railway did this on certain routes and the service for passengers on local trains! Strange but true!

How useful are hype actions?

The action of the train apparently aims to get people who have only driven by car from the street and make the train tasty for them. Because the train passengers had the opportunity to register for the “car break” campaign within a project. The winners each received a monthly ticket for the bus and train, left their car at that time and had the opportunity to test public transport without obligation.

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Sounds good. But: Doing something for local transport has long been overdue, because here the tickets are the most expensive and the performance the worst - starting with the lack of comfort to the constant delays (because, for example, the ICE had to pass again). But the railways also know that many people who use local transport are dependent on it. And since she has these customers almost in her pocket, she doesn't need to do them any good, but can happily increase prices.

Why the campaign misses the customer

Of course it's nice when the passengers can now enjoy a free massage. Theoretically. In practice, I imagine that this is a little difficult if the masseur is to give relaxation tips in a crowded train. Actually absurd.

And it's a shame that many such media-effective campaigns are always about one thing: attracting attention. And thereby attracting new customers. While the loyal existing customers are once again neglected. Sure, they may also have something of the massage action - if not too much, since a masseur is used per train, long lines are inevitable. However, customers would have more of cheaper long-term fares in local transport and that would also convince more customers to switch to rail.

Better a real asshole than a bad kindness

However, such supposedly nice actions are only about the short-term hype. Too bad. A wasted opportunity. Incidentally, it also fits that I do not find a reference to the action on the start page of the website, but first have to click through it carefully to finally find the reference here:

It makes a lot more sense if companies keep their own distinctive character. Stand by your own opinion, even if it is sometimes weird. Stay determined and sovereign and not let yourself be chopped off. This applies especially to the little ones who are not yet stars. A little being an asshole is part of it. Because such peculiarities fascinate people to a certain extent. You don't have to overdo it.

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22 tips for more asshole factor when dealing with customers

A Bonn transport company, by the way, took it quite literally with the asshole factor. In response to a complaint made over the phone, the employee said the customers were "beating his ass". From this I developed the following eight pieces of advice - seasoned with a little irony, of course. So if you are looking for the right asshole factor, you should definitely take the following tips to heart:

  1. First, launch a product with full-bodied promises
  2. Then instruct your employees to provide only half-true information about the offer. Or even better: inform your employees only halfway.
  3. Create a complicated coupon system that your employees cannot see through
  4. Give your customers various options to get their product guaranteed to get confused.
  5. Make sure that your employees make false and contradicting statements about this sales channel.
  6. Set an end date for the purchase of the product and confusingly create another date, which is also the end date.
  7. Then install a 0180X number that really costs your customers something
  8. And now you are happy when many confused customers call and bring money into your cash register or that of your call center.
  9. Don't take your customers seriously and assume that they are lying
  10. Be as rude and pampy as possible. The best way to do this is probably on days when everything went wrong anyway - or you are a person with a low tolerance for frustration anyway. The customer should calmly notice what he has from complaining.
  11. Show your customer that you don't know what you're actually doing. Ask your customer: "What should I do?" - In this way, you pass the responsibility on to the customer and are fine. She does not have to worry that the customer thinks she is someone who does not master his job.
  12. Talk yourself out: "We have so many customers / products / services" (the list is infinitely expandable) - "do you think I can take care of everything personally?" With a little luck, the customer will see through your cheap diversion and will never complain again.
  13. Tell the customer things that don't interest him. Actually, the customer only wants one thing: See that you take care of his matter. If you tell me something else instead, the customer will pull away.
  14. Do not offer compensation. Studies show: Most customers are already satisfied if you offer them compensation, no matter which one - and that without asking. If you are too stingy even for a little something, this is the most efficient way to make the customer dissatisfied.
  15. Make sure that a complaint never arrives. Make complaining as difficult as possible for your customer (occupy telephones, expensive hotlines, cumbersome mail forms, complaints that are lost on the way - there are no limits to your creativity). Because what you don't know doesn't make you hot - only the customer.
  16. Particularly clever: name your complaints department quality management. The customer then initially thinks that you really care about their concerns - and with a little luck, if things go wrong, they look for the mistake.
  17. Reject the responsibility for a damage / defect flatly: you are only the supplier / middleman / thin board drill / transporter / delivery agent / cashier or have no idea what.
  18. Be amazed when the customer expects you to refer you to the appropriate department: “Who am I?”
  19. Just be reluctant to find the right contact person: "Actually, that's not my job .."
  20. Show your incompetence to choose the right data set from a wealth of data: "I have no idea how to do this ..."
  21. What to do if you are a trader on one Article gave a three-year guarantee, but the supplier has filed for bankruptcy and no spare parts are available? Of course, you are not offered to take the item back for a full refund.
  22. What to do if the customer does not want to return the item because he would not get an equivalent replacement at the price? You insist on your point of view and do not negotiate a kind of discount in a friendly and competent manner and do not give the customer a voucher for a partial amount.

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  1. Jeremy

    Good post, I have the same gebookmarkt.

  2. Jan Vamel

    I can only advise everyone to be a little less nice. Is good!

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