Piss Off Your Customers

If I hear one more marketer talk about delighting customers, customer satisfaction, or — heaven forbid — customer advocacy, I’m going to scream.

It’s all a waste of time. You want to make more money for your company? Piss off your customers.

You heard me right. Piss ’em off.

How will you make more money by doing this? Allow me to explain.

Below is data from MasterCard showing the average monthly spend for credit cardholders (non-rewards cards) segmented by their level of satisfaction (on a 10-point scale, duh).

mastercardPlease note that cardholders who rated their level of satisfaction at a 2 spend more per month than cardholders who are more satisfied (until you get to level 6, anyway).

Unfortunately, MasterCard didn’t publish a key piece of information here, namely, the distribution of cardholders by level of satisfaction. So I made some assumptions. I assumed a distribution roughly approximating a bell curve, with 5% of the cardholders at each of the spectrum, 10% in each of level 2 through 5 and 8 to 9, and 15% in each of levels 6 and 7. Trust me, that accounts for 100% of the cardholders.

Now for the money making part: If you can piss off the cardholders in levels 3 through 5 so that they’re dissatisfied enough to give you a 2 rating….guess what happens? Revenue increases by 6%. Assuming a base of 1 million customers, that’s an increase of more than $15 million in spending!

I know what you’re thinking: “What if we screw up, Ron, and piss off the folks in levels 6 and 7?

No worries. You’re still making more money than the base scenario. Two percent, or $10 million, more, to be precise.

There is the possibility, of course, that your most satisfied customers in levels 9 and 10 might become more dissatisfied as well. If they only drop to level 8, guess what? You still make more money!

The beauty of my plan is that you don’t have to invest a dime to make it happen. In fact, the best way to make this dream come true is by reducing costs — firing employees, shutting down systems, closing stores/branches.

So go ahead…piss off your customers. And feel free to steal this idea. No need to give me the credit.

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