Wildfires: Fanning the Flames?

Wildfires are burning up states in the West this summer. There is a devastating drought coupled with high winds; the perfect conditions for practically entire states to go up in a holocaust of flames.

The United States Air Force Academy was forced to evacuate the campus due to wildfires on the outskirts of Colorado Springs. pictures show the mountains of the front range ablaze dwarfing the campus (which although large, looks tiny in the foreground).

Whole towns in New Mexico are being evacuated as wildfires approach. This summer has just started, too.

There are many signs that your business is going up (or down) in flames. Others observe them but you probably don’t see them for all of the little fires you are putting out.

1. You are offering discounts to people – like crazy.
Discounts don’t increase value. Rather, they in crease small sales. Look at the image that Jos. A. Bank has tarnished by running discount sales almost weekly.

A friend I had dinner with in the Northwest last month told me that discounts just cheapen your business and image to consumers. He believes in building,value by increasing the quality of the experience. It has worked for him.

2. You are charging for services or conveniences that were once free.
Look at the damage major airlines have done to themselves for charging for former complimentary items like: snacks, exit row seats, pillows, blankets. And now they are talking about chasing for gate-checked luggage! Why? Their bag check feed are so steep that many (read that: MANY) are taking everything in their carry-on bags.

3. You are concentrating on yourself and not your customers.
When will organizations learn that a loyal, frequent customer base is what builds your business; NOT punishing, prohibitive, self-protective policies?

Ask Bank of America about that debit card fee.  Ask Verizon about changing their fee structures.  Then ask their loyal customers who had enough “punishment” from these companies and revolted.  They were in trouble. The fires were smoldering.

Discounts, fees or policies… Are you fanning the wildfires, or putting them out?

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