13 September 2005

Getting your customers to work for you

The van to Fundão that I take several times a week is an example where the customers' interests are in line with the owner's. Once the van is full we can take a direct route to Fundão. The sooner the van fills up on the route, the quicker I get to school and the owner can make another loop. However here my desire to help fill up the van is not nearly large enough to compel me to advertise its use, such as screaming "Quatro-Oito-Cinco até Fundão diret" out the window.

The nature of some businesses is such that some of your customers' interests conflict with the owner's. Consider an amusement park. As a customer you want it to be empty so you can get on rides easier. But the desire is not nearly large enough to compel the customer to try and drive people away.

I can think of a couple examples where the customer's desires, in or not in the owner's favor, is strong enough to compel direct action:
  1. Reconsidering the amusement park, the desire to hang out with friends will likely overwhelm the emptiness desire and they will end up drawing more customers and increasing the owner's revenue instead of decreasing it.
  2. Network services such as instant-messaging and e-mail have at times compelled me to encourage others to set-up accounts. BTW, get Skype.
  3. Whenever you discourage somebody you dislike from going with your group (to the movies, a restraunt, etc).

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