How the Sea Monkey Syndrome™ Ruins Your Customer’s Experience
by Guest Blogger, Jeannie Walters
As a kid, were you ever duped into ordering sea monkeys?
The cartoons in the back of comic books showed regal families of “instant pets” who wore crowns and lived in castles. And they were affordable! For a few dollars, you could be the proud owner of a family of royal pets.
When they arrived, they were nothing but a bunch of microscopic shrimp. Nothing very exciting to see here. No regal scepters. No interesting behaviors. Calling them pets was a bit of a stretch, to say the least.
It’s disappointment in the most profound way. A kid gets her hopes up, and then those hopes are dashed by reality in a few all-too-real moments.
Do you do this to your customers?
Marketing materials that promise too much. Salespeople who offer fantasy instead of reality. There are so many ways we set up our customers, just like those kids who order the instant pets from the back of a comic book.
We call this Sea Monkey Syndrome™ and it’s not a great way to treat your customers. But it’s challenging to avoid.
Is your organization ruining your relationships with customers by setting them up for disappointment?
Ask yourself a few questions:
- What’s the most outrageous marketing claim we make? Can we really back it up?
- What complaint do we hear over and over? What are we doing to set better expectations earlier in the customer journey?
- What if we can’t deliver on our expectations? What’s our protocol and process around that?
- Who are we trying to “impress” in our marketing? (Hint: if it’s all about the “buyer” but not the “user,” then there is probably some Sea Monkey Syndrome™ happening.)
- What do we do with feedback from customers? Do we listen to the same feedback over and over but can’t really change?
I spoke about Sea Monkey Syndrome™ and how it relates to your customer experience mission at the CallidusCloud Connections (C3) Conference this past May. The heads in the audience nodded along as I asked these questions and explained the ideas.
We are ALL guilty of offering our customers “instant pets” full of personality, then delivering microscopic shrimp. It’s not fair or right, but we’ve been told to spin the situation and offer only the best.
But here’s the thing.
Offering the truth and having an honest dialogue with your prospects can often serve you better.
Salespeople who say “I don’t know” often earn the trust of a prospect over the guy who offers the moon but can’t deliver. Reputations get around, and now that any of us can reach out to our social networks for honest feedback, reputations matter more than ever.
Don’t fool yourself or your prospects by offering instant pets.
Believe in what you’re delivering and why. Share the honest situation and watch as your customers believe in you more than ever.