How and why do new companies start up? If you answered money you are wrong. Making money is the score card, but its not the reason most entrepreneurs start a company. If it was they would get a job instead of creating jobs for others around them. Entrepreneurs start companies to scratch an itch and beat out competition that they view as weak. How many people want to start a company against competition that they think is doing a fantastic job at a great value? Not very many…
That is why small businesses will ALWAYS have a place against big business. Big business is inherently inefficient and in most cases the entrepreneurial spirit was killed after the 100th employee started. What makes these companies “lose their way”?
They start down the path to nowhere the second they make a decision that impacts the customer experience in a negative manner for financial gain. Its really is as simple as that. Anyone that says differently is an accountant or a moron. So with that being said, here are a list of a few companies that have traded their customer experience for some short term $$$.
1) Comcast – They just announced a “partnership” with several media companies for their DVR (Their Tivo equivalent). One of the requirements was that the commercials couldn’t be skipped/fast forwarded by the consumer. Who wants to have recorded content that can’t fast forward? While I understand the loss of revenue to them the reality is that customers won’t put up with that after tasting what its like to have it. This is a HORRIBLE decision by their management.
2) Microsoft – The have gone completely overboard with their “Windows Genuine Advantage” that tries to make sure you have a legit copy of windows. I don’t dispute their efforts to get rid of piracy but their methods throw the baby out with the bath water. Their draconian measures to implement DRM into EVERYTHING and protect themselves at the expense of the consumer has marked a turning point in Microsofts management. They used to be all about the customer and profit. Now they are simply trying to stave off competition and maintain their stock price. Microsoft will never be what they once were, and based on their recent decisions I can’t say I am disappointed.
3) Google – Yes Google! Their technology is great, but their treatment of customers is truly abhorrent. They REFUSE to protect their customers from fraud in their adsense department because it affects the bottom line, and their phone service is nonexistent or utterly useless. I could excuse this in the early days because of growth and infrastructure problems, but with todays demanding customers the only excuse they have is that is costs them money.
Ask yourself if you are trading your customers experience for a little cash. If you are then shame on you
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com