What is the ROI of Common Decency?

By Cary Cusumano posted 10-14-2016 09:43 AM


I recently heard a business leader say, “Let me just tell you what this is about: it’s not about customers, it’s about making money.  You can make customers happy by giving them service for free, but you will go bankrupt.”

If that is the sentiment among your leaders, then your company is already bankrupt – culturally and strategically bankrupt.

Never mind the fact the argument is a straw man. Nobody has ever suggested serving customers for free.  This was a discussion about listening to customers’ problems, understanding how your service has failed them, and taking ownership to resolve the issue.  These things cost nothing, but are invaluable in building customer loyalty.  They are really nothing more than common decency and a reflection of the type of respect we would desire if the roles were reversed.

Putting profit over people is not going to hurt your brand today. It won’t hurt it tomorrow.  But it will eventually catch up to you as your competitors make the investments in improving their Customer Experience and watch your march to financial bankruptcy as they earn the customers you once had.