Having a Better Service Doesn’t Mean You Win

December 2nd, 2010

It’s astonishing how some businesses manage to make so much money, while completely bungling their customer service, support, and pricing system.

As we do market research, we hear over and over, “I hate eFax.” The statement comes with a lot of oomph, like they really mean it. Here’s what someone told me yesterday:

“I still think I have an [efax] account. I’m paying for it, I think.”

How do you not know if you’re paying for a service? How is that possible?  Because once you’re in, eFax makes it extremely difficult for you to cancel.

Financial and business momentum is huge; and eFax benefits from both. When entrepreneurs talk about competing with a corporate juggernaut, they often think it will be enough to just make a more customer friendly, usable, and simply better service. If you build something, people will come – because in a vacuum, their service is better.

But, the things that make sense in life, don’t always make sense online. Read “For DecorMyEyes, Bad Publicity is a Good Thing,” about a site owner that builds back links by harassing his clients. While I don’t imagine that eFax is being deliberate, even complaints about its service increases it rank for high volume search keywords.

In addition, lots of customers, paying unreasonable high prices (sometimes without knowing it) supports a higher ROI per user – which also increases eFax’s high AdWords budget.  And, there’s more, which I’ll talk about more in future posts.

Regardless, what lesson do I take from this? Don’t be lazy. Even though a competitor has an antiquated and byzantine service does not mean you have an easy opponent.


Comments are closed.