Sometimes, it pays to take a step back and look at what people may be doing wrong even though they think they’re doing the right thing. These are five simple steps that you can use to destroy any business. They are quite ingenious because they may seem at first as if they are things that will help you to build a successful business instead:
Over invest In Advertising and Icons
Ever heard of Pets.Com? They were a high flying web company that raised tens of millions of dollars back during the first Internet bubble. They seemed to be worth a fortune and everyone had seen the mascot of the Pets.com website. The company burned through a whopping $82.5 million before they finally went bust. How did they manage to do it? Simple – they overextended themselves with advertising and even bought lavish ads during the Superbowl. The only problem was that their business model was not successful – it often ended up costing the company more to ship out dog food than they charged for it.
Skimp On Customer Service
Sure it sounds like a good idea to insist that customers can only send you e-mails and then all they’ll get it a canned response which is sent out from an automated server. It’ll save you a fortune, right? Well it will save a fortune in the short run. However, your competitors will also be thanking you for making their job easier. Even if all you offer is e-mail support, customers need to be able to get real answers at least once in a while instead of always being fobbed off onto the automated systems.
In fact, even if you have actually people answering the phones, if they have heavy accents and are clueless about what your product actually is, that’s a good way to drive customers away, though it will take a little longer than if you simply insist on an e-mail only automated support system.
Create Lots of Vaporware
Customers will leave you in droves if you constantly tell them about the wonderful products that they’ll be able to buy – sometime in the future; just as long as those products never do arrive of course. Oh and for good measure, any products that do actually arrive should be so full of bugs and so lacking in the features you promised that they may as well have never made it out the door to begin with.
Create Lots of Confusing Ads
If you really want to drive away customers, nothing works as well as confusing the heck out of them. Let them see ads which are real avante garde style works which have no connection whatsoever to what you have for sale. That’ll drive them away in droves because they won’t have a clue what it is you have for sale or why they should care.
Never Offer a Refund. Ever.
Finally, make sure that you have a strict no refunds policy, regardless of what people tell you. It should be clear to your customers that even if the product doesn’t work or arrives damaged, it’s their problem and you will never ever agree to give them back their money. For good measure, lose a few orders as well and then hang up on customers when they call to complain.