Friday, October 22, 2010


I work in an industry that exists is to console and satisfy clients who are frustrated with technology to some varying degree. Although exceedingly rare, I occasionally come across a client that simply cannot be pleased no matter how hard we try. A few days ago, I had a furious customer complain that, after working with it all weekend, the printer we sold him would not work. After he brought it to the shop, we fixed the issue by installing the printer software on his computer in less than 5 minutes. Despite our good intentions, he was still angry that we had not told him that he would have to install software before his printer would work. He vowed to share his negative experience with all his friends before he stormed out the door. As I pondered the 12 dollars profit gained from the printer sale, it occurred to me that my competitors would probably love this kind of customer. Come to think of it, there are a few types of customers that my competitors would enjoy even more than I. Here are a few examples based on real-life experiences.

My competitors really love clients who answer their cell phone while their technician is explaining a complex concept. After all, they have nothing better to do than wait patiently while you discuss last night’s kickball game with Aunt Freda. To add to their enjoyment, please allow your children to run back into their service area filled with thousands of volts of electricity and computer cases with sharp edges. You will receive a discount if the kids handle the stapler and scissors.

My competitors love to hear every single detail of the problem your computer is experiencing. It is best to start your story with your very first computer from 1993 and continue up through your future plans. Do not leave out the important details such as your recent gall bladder operation or why you hate your ex-spouse. You never know when that might factor into the problem. Oh, and when my competitor says you likely have a virus, please dispute that diagnosis and offer your own so that they may fix the problem exactly how you want it to be fixed.

When you call my competitors for free advice, please put them on hold for a few minutes. As long as you are not paying for it, you may as well get your money’s worth, right? When they try to sell you a product at a fair price, please ask them where you can go to purchase the same product for less. They love that.

My competitors love young adults who waltz in looking for a job while wearing a tee shirt, tattoos and 10 pounds of hardware stuck into various parts of the anatomy. I’m not sure where these kids are getting their job hunting advice but this is a sure way to make a memorable impression. Dressing like that won’t get you a job, but you will be remembered. That’s the important thing, right?

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