We seem to be barraged by news clippings demonstrating how shitty most large companies treat their customers. Here in the US Wells Fargo is a particularly lovely example.
When I read stuff like this, this or this, I think about two things:
As companies grow, as they are exposed to outside pressure (often from the financial markets — in startups often from their investors), the temptation to focus on the inward increases exponentially. You start to care more about your internal stuff than your customers and their needs & wants.
Particularly in today’s hyper-transparent world, where customers have more social media channels at their disposal than you can even count and are not shying away from using them — focus relentlessly on what’s right for the customer. If you do right by them, they will do right by you and you are much more likely to sustain your growth over long periods of time.
Secondly: Every time I see one of the incumbents blunder, it opens a massive flank for the upstarts. If I were running a bank today, I would have my people camp out in front of Wells Fargo, offering customers genuine help and hire Wells Fargo’s best talent with the promise to not screw them over.
When companies turn asshole, opportunity awaits. Just make sure it is not your company which takes that turn.