“You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I’m telling you why..”

The Santa Claus of business, otherwise known as Customer Reports, is known for putting the policies and practices of companies to the test. Last month saw the release of the fifth Customer Reports annual Naughty and Nice List, published in time for Black Friday when customers tend to be at their most vulnerable.

On the Naughty List was Spirit Airlines after the company increased baggage by $2 per person, the company claimed that the fee was temporary, but was taken into effect in time for holiday travel. Zales Jewellery was another company who founded themselves on the Naughty List, after a study conducted by creditcards.com found the company to have an interest rate of 28.99% the highest on record. AT&T, Dillard’s, Hearthware Inc., M&T Banks, Marriott Hotels, Overstock.com, Victoria’s Secret, Yelp and Zales, were also convicted of being ‘naughty’.

On the Nice List was CVS Pharmacy after more than 7,000 CVS pharmacies stopped selling tobacco and cigarettes, and launched a programme to help customers quit. Another Nice List member was JetBlue Airways after promising customers if they see a flare in price drop two weeks of booking their flight, to contact the airline and receive a JetBlue credit for the price difference. Discover, Esurance, Sam’s Club, Tesla Motors, UPS and Whole Foods Market, were also declared as being nice.

Are you aware of what gets your business on the Naughty List or the Nice List? More importantly, are you ready to find out which list your business is on? Let’s find out..

The Nice List

“He’s making a list, and checking it twice; he’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice..”

To make the Nice List cut, your customer needs must be aligned with your company policies. Being on the Nice list will result in happy, loyal customers who will continue to repeat business while marketing your brand through word-of-mouth. Nonetheless, it takes emotional, physical, financial and spiritual energy to make the Nice List.

To see the maximum return on investment, time, money, energy, and make the Nice List, here is what your business must oblige by:

  • Transform the way you think (and conduct) your business by establishing value-based goals while remaining true to your brand
  • Set a growth strategy outlining goals for your business: what do you want to achieve and how do you plan to achieve these goals?
  • Be there for your customers around the clock to answer all queries across all platforms: online, offline, social media, telephone, email, etc.
  • Demonstrate gratitude at all times and provide the unexpected to customers
  • Implement an inbound marketing strategy: how will your company measure the ROI and customer conversion rates?

The Naughty List

“He knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake..”

It’s rare for a company not wanting to see business growth in some way, but most small business owners are that busy keeping their business afloat, they have difficulty identifying indicators that are dismissing growth until cause of major concern. If customers see your brand in a negative light, you will have difficulty establishing and maintaining customer relationships. And, before long your business will become bust.

Here are some major factors that could be influencing mischief in company growth and impacting future business:

  • A lack of strategic plan and goals for business which ultimately results in a shortfall of clarity and direction
  • Growing the business alone as your employees are disheartened and disinterested
  • Poor (or absent) billing practices which allows for invoices to go unpaid
  • Doing the same thing as you did last year in your marketing efforts and expecting different results
  • Multitasking which frequently results in focusing on the wrong thing or a mix-up in work

Unwrap Customer Joy

If you want to successfully maintain the gift of growth, which lasts throughout the good and bad times, then you will want to make sure your nice list is longer than your naughty list. Being on either list will effect your business in the long run, choose wisely.