Shopper Marketing and Customer Experience Management

we believe it takes an inspiring story to make people buy

detractors are a minus minus

Detractors are defined as respondents rating their likelihood to recommend your business as 6 or less. It may not seem like a big deal.

Look at it this way…

  1. Likelihood of your brand beng recommended is less by the number of detractors.
  2. To arrive at an NPS – No. of detractors are subtracted from the number of promoters i.e. the number of promoters goes down.
  3. Likelihood of detractors discouraging more customers is high

Triple whammy.
Moral of the story – Detractors should be your priority customers.

Before we begin work on any business our job is the listen to the existing stories about them in the community. We believe if your aim is to enhance customer experience you must start with ensuring you are not delivering a bad experience and then work upwards.negative customer experience

It is never a one time game. One cannot eradicate possibilities. Avoiding negative experiences is a contant effort.

While most weekly operations meetings are about what can we do to enhance customer experience (gaining promoters), who is keeping an eye on avoiding detractors?

Detractors are always managed. We do not take precautionary measures to avoid detractors.


Let me narrate a recent experience with the australian coffee chain Gloria Jeans which has its stores all across India.

A child I was with was bitten by a stray dog outside Gloria Jeans in Juhu on the 23rd of May 2013. The 4 year old child had to take 5 painful rabbies shots.

The staff stepped in after the incident to inform us that the same dog had bitten 10 more people including 1 of their own. What ridiculous behaviour is that?
While during the 45minutes that we were at the cafe they had enough reasons to warn us:

1) when the children were giving all the attention to that dog from inside the cafe
2) when I walked up to the counter to check if they were feeding that dog, just to discourage the girl with me from wanting to feed the dog
3) when we did go ahead and feed a chicken sandwich to the dog

I fail to understand what the staff was waiting for before they warned us?

I wrote on their social networking website and the comment was promptly deleted. Then I decided to become a real detractor and wrote to the CEO in Australia. Some damage control was done. But to state my point this is the classic example of no one keeping an eye on avoiding detractors.

Its like your stock. Is someone constantly managing the dips? Then why aren’t you managing the guy who ultimately decides if you live or die?

Detractors are your priority customers.

4 comments on “detractors are a minus minus

  1. Michael Brandt
    July 16, 2013

    One of the main issues here, and I come across it consistently at work and in my private dealings, is the inability of people to communicate. People just don’t talk…until it’s too late.

    At work we try and keep things quiet until they go resolutely and visibly South, rather than being open about looking issues and trying to fix them before they occur. Contrary to what most people seem to think, wishful thinking is not a sustainable solution.

    As a customer I have had tradespeople doing work for me. They meet a problem, think up a solution and then present me with substandard work. I was on site, why didn’t they ask me what solution I would have preferred???

    An old British Telecom advertisement used to finish with the comment: “It’s good to talk.” If only we all understood the truth in that comment!

    Communication is key, not just when dealing with detractors but with any customer.

  2. thebuystories
    July 17, 2013

    Thank you for the comment Michael.
    In this case the could have saved time of their seniors and avoided a detractor.


  3. Mark Barnett
    July 22, 2013

    Thank you for this story Aaradhee. Unfortunately it fits an all to common template, not only in business, but in life, which is to avoid known or potential problems until the blow up in a BIG way. 10 bites is well after the big blowup… so this is an extreme case!

    If a business is willing to take ownership of every customer outcome that takes place then they have made the leap towards earning great success. And if not, each time an incident like this gets communicated by any means, but nowadays most especially via social media, they take damage. In this case, I don’t know that I would patronize Gloria Jeans again if I have a choice in the matter (and I do).

    Taking ownership of customer outcomes is one step towards greater success… aligning the business to create successful customer outcomes every time – even when the customer contact starts out in a negative way, as in your story, is the second – and most critical – step.

  4. thebuystories
    July 22, 2013

    Thank you for the comment Mark.
    Social media has given a voice to each and each one of us. And the STORIES in that space have been consciously or subconsciously making all our BUY or in this case NOT BUY decisions.
    The idea is to listen to these stories and take action to resolve before they become the customers truth.


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