First Amendment Rally (Union Square, New York City)
Creative Commons License photo credit: Luke Redmond

There is a growing trend for the tribe to speak its mind. Customers are angry about bank fees. So they created Bank Transfer Day for Nov. 5 urging others to move their accounts to credit unions or smaller banks.

Complaints from President Obama, loyal customers and other protests pressured Bank of America to retreat from their attempt to extort $5 monthly fees for debit card use. It was estimated that over 800,000 customers left Bank of America before they made the decision to rescind the increase. Let’s assume that the average account had $100 in it. That means that $80 million left the bank deposits. Why did Bank of America take so long to react?

Can the same reaction be too far behind as the airlines continue to charge for baggage, pillows and snacks that were once included in your ticket fees? Will consumers now accept fees from the phone company, cable services and Internet providers that were once free?

Are your customers upset? Are you listening to them? Because they’re discussing you in reviews, on blogs, in social media, to their friends, etc. Customers are feed up and they will do business with someone else if you don’t respond. Customers have more power than ever before and they will wield it for or against you. Create dialog to create advocates. 

In one of my favorite movies, Network, the lead character tells everyone to open their windows and yell, “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more.” Listen to your customers carefully. They are talking to you in the hopes you listen. RESPOND. Even to negative reviews. If their opinions don’t receive attention and favorable reaction they will do business with someone that does listen and they will tell their friends and the whole world. And just like the reality TV show, those that survive listen to what is being said to them. The tribe has spoken.