MarketingProfs AudienceI’ve been shopping around the past few days for a terrific lead automation system for the day job, looking at all of the different vendors out there. One thread that’s been common among all of the comparison discussions on LinkedIn, on blogs, etc. that baffles me is this argument:

“We’re better because we have 42x more customers than any of our competitors, which shows that clearly we are the LEADER in our space!”

This argument makes no sense to me. More customers doesn’t make you a better company. More customers just means you have more customers. In fact, it might make you a worse company. If you and your competitor both have 60 people on staff but you have 42x more customers, all that means is I’m 42x less likely to get customer support when I need it.

If more customers were the benchmark of excellence, we’d all shop only at Wal-Mart for everything in life. They have more customers than anyone, right? Are they the best? If absolute numbers of customers were the mark of truly excellent service, logically wouldn’t the IRS (which has every taxpayer as a “customer”) be the best organization in the country to deal with?

What’s at work here is a bit of Robert Cialdini’s bandwagon influence techniques (Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Amazon link). The hope of these marketers, I suppose, is that by seeing lots of people doing business with a company, I’ll be persuaded that it’s somehow better, in the same way that social media “experts” try to convince you that because they’ve got 20,000 followers, they’re somehow more knowledgeable about social media.

Sorry, gang. I’m not buying it. In this day and age when service, support, and care is needed more than ever, more customers as a sole metric of your worth means you just have less time for me.


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