We have become so dependent on tech it’s an epidemic.

Case in point, my computer hard drive decided to give me the one finger salute back in October. So I spent over 2 weeks without my computer – the one tool I require to make money and complete work. I felt naked and insecure. It was awful.

When I visited my computer tech to get the low-down on the issue he told me that a course of events from a faulty hardware issue caused my logic board and video card to die. Which set a series of catastrophic events in place.

I told him I was flirting with the idea of buying a new computer. He stopped me in mid sentence by saying do not buy a new MacBook. Naturally I asked why and he told me that Apple is now hard wiring all their components so that you are forced to have them fix a problem. You are bound by their inflated prices and long wait times. Held hostage.

I was grateful for the advice and it made me think about brands that handcuff and blindfold customers. Why would a company do that? The only answer I could come up with was increased profits and fear of losing a dollar. Some a-hole executive is trying to squeeze every last penny out of their customer and this is the end result. Handcuffed and throw away the keys.

Branding this way is bad business.

Being fear based is a terrible mindset. Putting profits before people is completely wrong. Big brands may be able to get away with it but small businesses like yourself, fat chance. Don’t do it!

I get it, you want to retain customers. Make them continually buy from you but you need to understand that here is a better way to approach this so hear me out.

Educate the client.

Let them make the buying decision on their own. Give them the power to decide. Be as transparent as possible. Put them in a situation where if they were to ever walk away from you, you can rest easy knowing they were left in a good place. That you were looking out for their best interests before your own.

This comes back in your favour – twofold. One. You look confident in your service and products. Two. You are trusting and credible. That gesture of kindness will stew in their heads for a long time. They will not forget it.

Keep in mind there will always be the bargain-basement-I-wanna-deal-types. They don’t matter. You can sniff them out easily. The first words out of their mouth will be “how much?” or “I can get it cheaper online”.

Stay on the side of kindness and honesty. Educate them. Show them they get what they pay for. Educate them on your value. Let them make the decision whether to buy from you or not.

Put the handcuffs away, toss the blindfold and lose the rusted van. You don’t need to hold your customer hostage to retain them. If they love you, they will come back. If they don’t, they probably were never a great customer to begin with.

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