Denny’s Zinger: Are You Abused by Your Customers?
A bunch of Decembers ago, Peggy and I were in Vienna. On Mariahilfer Strasse — the central shopping district — we stopped into a coffee shop. The place was jammed — people at tables with empty cups relaxing with books, piles of newspapers or intensely working over laptops.
In Vienna, it’s the culture: arrive early, stake out a table and spend the day.
This Zinger was triggered by Maura Judkis’ Washington Post story about how Mark Furstenberg oh-so-smoothly embarrasses customers who consider his Compass Coffee shop in D.C. as their office. They buy one latte and settle in for the morning to use the free Wi-Fi.
The Catalog Bandit
Consultant Bob Doscher will regale you about the woman who is invited to a fancy gala. She will shop an upmarket fashion catalog and order three expensive dresses for delivery the day before the party. After trying on the dresses, she selects one and wears it to the affair.
Whereupon next day she returns all three dresses for full credit.
Takeaways to Consider:
- An important component of marketing is redlining.
- This means tracking customers’ behavior and blackballing those who rip you off.
- In the last century, direct marketers had Hooper Holmes — a co-operative database identifying bad actors.
- Members secretly reported details of customer disputes and poor behavior. When an order came in from a stranger, you could instantly run it against the Hooper Holmes file of dossiers — some of which were extensive. If a match occurred, you could profitably trash the order.
Denny Hatch is a marketing consultant, copywriter and designer. The author of four novels and 7 business books, his newest is Write Everything Right!
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Denny can be reached at:
firstname.lastname@example.org • www.dennyhatch.com