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Why Businesses Don't Listen to Customers

Please Explain To Me Why Companies Ignore Their Customers?

This rant is a follow-up to the blog post challenging every CEO to, at least once in their career, wrap themselves in a blanket of customer feedback for an entire week. Invest just one week to gain the knowledge necessary to lead a successful customer-centric enterprise.

Please Explain To Me Why Companies Ignore Their Customers? I Don’t Understand.

The business leaders I’ve encountered in my career are not ignorant, disinterested people. They are mostly intelligent, engaged individuals who are trying to build their careers and contribute to the success of their respective companies.

What I don’t understand, given this fertile ground of talent, is why so many businesses — and by extension their leadership — choose, by inaction, to ignore their customers.

I hear the excuses every day.

“It’s not my department. I’ve tried to get X department to engage but they said it wasn’t their role, so nobody does”.
“We just don’t have time. We can’t take on another project.”
“We have the systems in place, but no one is in charge”.
“We can’t change how the product/service is provided so how would engaging with customers matter”?
“After we complete effort XYZ we will be able to consider it”.

This persistent and purposeful decision to ignore customer feedback is not coming from small companies. It’s coming from companies who have the resources to prioritize their investment.

The Data Is Everywhere And Easy To Spot.

It is easy to find companies with over 10,000, 50,000, even 100,000 1-Star reviews. Not total reviews, but customers who provided the lowest possible rating. What’s amazing is that for many of these brands, there is not a single company response to these disgruntled, yet high engaged customers. Not one “I’m sorry for your experience”. Not one “Please contact us so we can make this right”. Not one “We’re listening and we’re making changes”.

Sample volume of reviews from only one source, for one location of thousands.

ost. I will give this company the research that answers the above questions and a system to manage and respond to reviews FREE FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR.

There, I’ve just removed one more little hurdle. It probably won’t matter.

So, I go back to my original question….Please explain to me why companies ignore their customers?

P.S. Thank goodness for the small and medium-sized business that are actively looking to disrupt industries where entrenched companies have better things to do that engage their customers — and to the few enterprises that “get it”.

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2 Comments

  1. Why? Because these companies no longer care about the customer. It is ALL about the stockholders. I have written to various companies through the mail and email. I usually get a form letter in response that has nothing to do with my complaint or observation. Or, I get a form letter saying they’re sorry I’m not satisfied with their product and they send me coupons. (Why would I want coupons for items that I’m not satisfied with?)

  2. I’ll do you one further. I challenge every CEO to spend two days a year working either customer service in person…or in one of their phone positions, whatever the case may be. On the front lines. They will get a sense of what’s going on with customers, ways to improve products and services, raises morale with the cust serv reps, and allows the CEO to see what’s actually happening in the most important department in his/her company. It boggles the mind that this isnt SOP everywhere. How can so called “leaders” continually and habitually fail in this respect? simple… if you arent doing this…..you’re a bad CEO who people probably dont like working for. If you are already doing this, then do you have any openings? 🙂


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