Why Complacency Can Erase The Greatest of all Companies



And how the mighty fall! How often do we see companies that haven’t been to the neighborhood of “brand depression”? I’d say every other day. The success track is a tricky one to adhere to and most of the times, if the company is overtaken by another- the fault lies in falling brand value.

Have you ever had an experience where you stuck to a less popular brand because of it’s quality and once the laws of populism work, the next minute you find the quality is compromised and customer satisfaction is only a mission they are done achieving. Most successful companies fall prey to this aspect every time without fail. The reason, as many of us can observe is complacency.

Some of the biggest examples of failure due to complacency in the past are MySpace and Nokia!

So why do successful companies go the wrong way and how can they get back on track?


#1 Fault: They forget their success mantra

Yes! It’s true. Most of the companies that make it to the top often forget what put them on top. When you don’t know the ingredients there’s little luck trying to recreate the long lost magic. They confuse themselves with various success rate parameters and end up cribbing about decline in profits.

Correction: The way to measure customer satisfaction is to gauge job satisfaction of your employees. Financial parameters may also help but won’t eradicate the root of the cause. It’s more like a band aid, the wound may show up again. Since your employees are the one serving your clients, you ought to keep them satisfied. An unruly employee can turn away a loyal customer’s and believe me, that’s a price you don’t want to pay.

#2 Fault: They forget to re-innovate

In today’s age, the shelf life of an update is short lived. You can’t keep up with times, clients go for the next best alternative. It’s normal human psychology, we always look for more and wish to pay less. In a recent news, Infosys is said to have set up a R&D centre in Israel with the Panaya deal to re-innovate in the IT’s ever changing scenario.

Correction: RIM is a classic case. The once famous business phone has been replaced and it’s a matter of time before it shuts down (we pray not). You know your competitors and your customers, so under promise and over deliver with needs they didn’t even know existed until you brought it to them.

#3 Fault: They forget their customers

This is seen in many business houses. Once the company is a leader in the market and has established itself, they develop a patronizing attitude towards customers/clients. Customers to them look like helpless cattle. Their customer care wont work, they get more greedy for money and as a result, the rival benefits.

Correction: It’s high time companies realize, we still do live in the Customer is King economy. Every business growing up to become a bully ends up getting bullied-is something worth remembering.

#4 Fault: They forget how to say Sorry

It’s normal to get things wrong and to make wrong decisions. Well; mistakes are the only way to learn your trade better. It’s quite important that if this mistake has affected your customers, your business needs to own up. Many business houses just don’t because they can’t really see it’s impact. And most can’t even realize if there was a mistake committed in the first place, forget compensating the customers!

Correction: Admit it and move on is a wise thing to do. Many e-tailers today have picked up the habit. Some even go far in trying to compensate via discounts, exchanges etc. That’s an admirable quality.

#5 Fault: They forget rewarding their customer’s loyalty

To take care of customers is one aspect and to reward their loyalty is a totally different aspect. And rewarding their loyalty goes a long way. A loyal customer saves you lakhs of rupees spent on advertising cost and celebrity endorsements. And he’s someone you should never let go because Word of mouth publicity opens up the entire market for you better than advertising.

Correction: Celebrate your loyal customer’s association with you with free give-aways, extra discount and many other options. Keep in touch with them because with the choices we have today, loyalty can be easily compromised if not reminded about it’s importance.

Don’t succumb to the complacency, sniff it out of your business.

As  rightly put it, “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive” – Andy Grove

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