Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sunday Seven – Hated Companies

This week's challenge was to name your seven most hated companies from the provided list of 18.

Some of the companies were Bank of America, Dish Network, JPMorgan Chase, AT&T Mobile, Facebook, American Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Delta, Potomac Electric, and Pacific Electric & Gas.

I don’t do business with the majority the companies on the list, but they have all made a name for themselves for bad customer service. What I find most interesting is how they are clumped in the same sectors: Airlines, banks, Cable/TV providers, power and energy providers. The only outlier is Facebook.

I started looking for common threads.

What all these companies have in common is that they are service companies. They should be defined by customer service, yet, these are not. But it simply can’t be that they are service companies. Restaurants are a huge service industry, yet not a single one appears on the list.

These are all very large companies. When you get that big you are bound to get some people angry at you. It’s simply the law of averages. Yet, there are mammoth companies, like Ford or Microsoft that didn’t make the list. So size alone doesn’t seem to be issue.

We also have to look at companies in the same sector with these companies that didn’t make the list. Companies like Southwest Airlines, or Wells Fargo, or Time Warner. Despite multiple entries from their colleagues, these companies didn’t make the list. I think, especially in the case of airlines, that this is a case of companies like Southwest doing something right and rising above the normal culture of their industry.

These companies have created a culture that communicates to consumers that they are not valued, but merely tolerated. I wonder what it will take to reverse that culture at any of these companies and help them to get off this list.

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