Meatball Sundae:
Trends #1 - 7

by Aruna Singh

A certain new trend has impacted me and a business I am familiar with.

This new trend in marketing that I am elaborating about today is one that I am sure many consumers can relate to. Seth Godin refers to this trend as "Amplification of the Voice of The Consumer ad Independent Authorities." What does that even mean, you ask?

Well, think about the words that the statement is comprised of. First example, amplification. This means that consumers are offering a louder, perhaps in this case, more powerful and demanding, voice to businesses. Contrary to the past, consumers won't take "No" for an answer. They want their issues to be fixed and they think they deserve to have it fixed NOW.

Also, businesses are not just responsible for customer experience during the time of purchase. Businesses are realizing more and more that their responsibilities become more significant after a purchase is made.

This trend reminds me of an interesting scenario that my family and I are actually experiencing at this moment. For background, it is important to know that my family and I co-own, run, and maintain a mid-sized construction corporation in New York City. This trend of the amplification of consumer voice has dramatically changed the expectations of us and contractors.

Now, when we perform repairs or completely build someones house to their satisfaction, our job does not end there. Customers are expecting us to formally check-in with to reassure their satisfaction with our services. They are also expecting that if something goes wrong in their home (water damage, acts of nature, busted pipes, etc) , albeit that it most likely had nothing to do with our services and usually is just normal wear and tear on a house, customers are expecting us to fix it and little or no cost.

Some may think this is odd, as I originally did, but customers expect some form of warranty and reassurance for not only products, but services as well. Especially in the construction field, where customer investment is extremely high, they are expecting more out of contractors and they make it known by requesting these sort of post-service transactions in the initial contracts.

So, is this good for contractors or is bad? This just happens to be a two-part question. When a post-service transaction occurs it is costly due to contributed time and labor, and that is what hurts our company the most. However, we have seen a higher rates of return customers and recommendations to new customers, so we are profiting on the new policies as well.

If you were a construction company, do you think post-service transactions would be a good investment for you?