Response Crafting

Never assume you know what they want.

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More than likely, you don’t.
Always take the time to figure out for sure.

I rent a car from Hertz every week. I always request “compact” in my reservation and, more often than not, I end up driving the exact same model time and again.

One Monday, they were out of compacts.
Rather than asking for my input upon realizing this, the employee behind the counter instead took it upon himself to simply inform me that I was instead getting a “free upgrade to an SUV.”

I understand that many customers would be delighted to receive this.
I was not.

The problem is that, while Hertz was busying themselves with assuming that “price” is their customers’ primary determinant, they failed to understand that there are other (potentially more important) factors driving our decisions behind our cars.

In my case, my objective in specifying “compact” was never cost.
It was environmental.

Had Hertz taken the time to figure that out, they would have known that their idea of an upgrade was their customer’s idea of a demerit.
Understanding what is valued by a customer, an employer, or a market prevents frustration on their end of the interaction and eliminates the expense of undiscerning “upgrades.”

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