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In business discussions, they like to discuss toxic customers. What exactly is meant by this term depends on the context. Designers and copywriters call customers toxic who endlessly find fault with their work, managers – those who morally put pressure on the performers, for example, for any reason, threatens to leave a negative review. To summarize, a toxic customer is one that does more harm than good to work with. Even his money is not happy, he is so unpleasant type.
However, companies can also be toxic. They make life difficult for customers, when they should be simplifying. We are sure that your brand is not like that! But we propose to make sure of this. Collected five symptoms indicating the company s toxicity.
Symptom 1. Total surveillance
The more information you have about clients, the more personalized you can prepare an offer for them. But it doesn t make sense to collect more data than you need to solve business problems. AND in no case don t buy base!
Bet on first-party data. This is information that the user shares himself when placing an order or registering: email, surname and first name, phone number.
If you vitally need additional data, for example, date of birth or skin type (relevant if you sell cosmetics), offer a discount or a gift in return. And don t insist – give the user the option to opt out.
Symptom 2. Dedicated services
Paid subscriptions, changing tariffs without warning – these are services that people did not order. Deciding for the client is toxic. Imposing services undermines trust and destroys loyalty.
A current example is the pre-ticked checkboxes for purchasing insurance when ordering air tickets. Maybe some customers like it when everything is decided for them. But you shouldn t take people for fools. Give them a choice – they will thank you for that.
Symptom 3. Content attack
Real situation: you needed to buy an air conditioner. You have chosen a popular online store, placed an order, received it, everything suits you. There are no new purchases yet. However, the company sends messages daily in the spirit of “Discounts up to 30% on brands X, Y and Z! Only today! ”,“ These are the products that people like you buy more often! ”. Annoying, isn t it?
Another example – you have downloaded the application of your favorite online store in order to make purchases through it. Now you receive push notifications every hour: “Liquidation!”, “Discounts expire!”, “Just today jeans in your size!”.
In such cases, companies waste money and burn out their customer base. Being in touch and reminding yourself is good. It is bad to attack with information, even if we are talking about the most favorable conditions for cooperation in the world.
Symptom 4. Foul play
Toxic companies often impose services: for example, they say that without a paid guarantee, the TV will not be accepted for repair, and the mobile phone will work for a maximum of a year. Banks intimidate that the loan will be approved only by those who have paid insurance.
In an online format, an example of dishonest play is the complex mechanics of unsubscribing: when there is no unsubscribe link in the letters or you need to enter a username and password. And, of course, no one remembers them.
Symptom 5. Offensive / derogatory ads
An honest company will never humiliate competitors. You can play a trick on rivalry if the joke is witty. But it s better to talk about yourself and your customers than about other brands.
The only thing worse than humiliating a competitor is the devaluation of the buyer. Even if your product does make a difference in your life, don t point out that people are misbehaving right now. A popular example is advertising schools of foreign languages with the message “Do you want to leave Balashikha – learn the language“.
Technology is constantly evolving, but what about you? The idea is good, the implementation is offensive.
Important: people can make value judgments. Brands don t.
What is the bottom line?
At the heart of a marketing campaign is the desire to make a profit. But you can go to the goal in different ways. Some brands communicate with customers, create a friendly atmosphere, and work with loyalty. Others impose, put pressure on users, humiliate their dignity, monitor every step. Which strategy to choose is up to the brand itself.