Beware the Consumer Low Level of Tolerance

There are Occupy protests across the world, there’s a Bank Transfer Day, and the social media derision during the Blackberry outage.  Consumers are showing the new low level of tolerance for inequity, poor customer service, and rising fees.

How can marketers be prepared, plan for big swings in consumer loyalty, and even protect their brand in light of this new low level of tolerance?

The first critical step is to keep the long-term user, the most profitable group in your customer/member base, at the forefront of your marketing plan in terms of consistent touches and schmooze!

On a recent business trip, as a Blackberry user for many years, I was unfortunately one of the 20% with no email during the last glitch.  Interestingly, my husband was traveling with me and his was working fine. While grabbing a bite to eat before our plane, a businessman at a table across from us asked if we were getting anything on our B-Berries.  He was traveling with another person and said that she was getting everything because she had an iPhone!

More comments ensued around us from other business travelers, some smiling that they were unaffected with their iPhones, others claiming to switch away from B-Berry and me, irritated that I was disconnected!

While the CEO of RIM did apologize in the media, the CIO did come out with a general email apology to its 70 million users and admitted to no answer with why the outage happened.  As a B-Berry user, neither Sprint nor RIM made it more personal to me to ease the irritation.  Neither seemed to think they should gather resources around protecting their brands with long-time profitable users!

So, when I’m at the soccer field and another soccer mom says she just switched to iPhone and her husband chimes in that he wants to switch when his contract comes up, what’s a B-Berry, annoyed owner to think?

What’s your low tolerance story?

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