There was this shop in a small community. It sold everything from grocery to stationery to tools and clothing too. It offered a one stop shopping experience, everybody in the community patronized it; competition was minimal. But that was until it got it wrong.
As their monopoly became more established, the attendants of this super shop grew less and less courteous. They became obviously unwilling make extra effort to ensure that the hundreds of people that visit their shop daily get good service. They began having arguments with customers more often and were always unwilling to concede.
One day, a man who was known in that community as an honest gentleman, went to the shop at one those busy moments. He was kept waiting for about 10 minutes unattended to. When he complained to one of the attendant, she shouted at him, “Wait. Are you the only one?”
That moment the rowdy shop went quiet. All eyes were on the scene. The man walked away. In solidarity, a good number of other customers there walked away too. That was the beginning of the end for that shop.
The news of the incident spread round the town, eliciting more reactions. Without any consensus, people stopped patronizing the big shop. They went to the smaller shops instead.
Sooner than later, the customer base of the big shop thinned down to less than 20 percent of what it used to be. The advertising campaigns and promotion they employed did not yield much result because majority of the community – their target market – were still unhappy with them. The business eventually closed. They lost the market right when they had it. One impolite treatment of one customer cost them the whole market.
About the most important aspect of branding is establishing a very good customer service and relations. Sales are made on the lines of good relationships. You must show the customer that you are in business for his/her own good. He/she must see that you care. People are more likely to believe what they have experienced than what they see or hear.
So do your advertising well but don't forget that one satisfied customer is worth more than a million prospects.