Overblown Unreasonable Customer Desires Fed by Companies + Low Expectations = Hair Trigger Customer Behavior
One thing that has changed over the years is that customers want more from companies. For example, twenty five years ago it would be unheard of (and laughable) if a customer tried to return something to a Gumby’s Hardware Store when the item was purchased at the GoGoMart. If you didn’t have the receipt, you’d be told to go pound sand, perhaps politely, perhaps not so politely.
Nowadays customers try this fairly often, because they’ve been taught by the companies and corporations that if you whine and complain long enough and loud enough, you can get away with things like this. While companies balk at investing in more staff and training them to be better at their jobs, they have become more lax about the one off kinds of exceptions customers ask for. Hence, customers have completely unreasonable desires, and corporations have fed them. While not the only reason for inflated customer wants, it’s a powerful one.
That’s not the whole story. While they want more, customers also expect the worst when they shop. They are primed to be angry because while they want to be treated like kings and queens, they know that for many things, it’s not going to happen. Things will go wrong. This is often accurate, since shopping has become more and more difficult and annoying for many people, as they face the results of staff cutbacks. Incorrectly priced items, no prices, long lineups, items out of stock, failure to return calls promptly are the norm. We all experience them on a daily basis.
The combination of wanting unreasonable levels of service PLUS anticipating and preparing for poor service means customers are frustrated or prepared to be angry even as they cross the threshold of the establishment.