Why do round-trip airline tickets cost less than one-way tickets? Do the airline not trust us to come back and do business with them again? Why do wireless companies charge early termination fees if they are convinced that they are uniquely positioned to offer the best coverage, highest customer service, and most extraordinary calling plans? Why do home maid services have a penalty clause if a client does not maintain service with the company for a year? If they are cleaning the house on a weekly basis they have over fifty opportunities to solidify loyalty.
Why does Amazon allow customers to download a book onto their Kindle and return it within seven days if not satisfied? Zappos gladly accepts any item back if it does not meet with our satisfaction and they pay for the shipping. Many a coffee house will remake a drink if it did not meet with our expectations.
Each company has its rational. Some are based on revenue and expense metrics. Others are tied to core values. Reflect on what stories we tell. What stories do we tell about the airlines and wireless companies? And compare that to the stories we share about Zappos? Nordstrom was famous for accepting car tires as a return from a customer. The catch, Nordstrom is a clothier with no history in automotive sales but the story is now legend (or apocryphal).
Do our actions match the stories we tell? And what stories does our community tell about us? Do we consider ourselves artists who understand our art is not for everyone, or are we focused on closing a deal and pointing to the fine print if the customer is dissatisfied?