Technology-fueled people power has come of age and is quickly transforming the old saw “Buyer beware” into “Seller take care.” And this has very real implications for you and your future livelihood (more on that in a moment).
The answer – the wrath of their customers and the public at large. For example, Netflix’s decisions last July to dramatically raise prices and its September announcement of a (short-lived) plan to split its DVD and streaming packages into separate services were both unmitigated disasters for the company, resulting in a 75% decline in its stock price and a loss of over 800,000 subscribers. Although “the social media cries were nearly deafening,” it doesn’t seem that there was any organized effort to punish Netflix for its less-than-stellar efforts to “improve” its customers’ experience.
However, by late fall when Bank of America announced its $5 debit card fee, the story was different. In no small part thanks to the national signature-campaign gone viral – spearheaded by 22 year-old Molly Katchpole – BoA was forced to reverse itself several months later.
Verizon, it seems didn’t get the memo and they tried a similarly ridiculous policy – announcing that they would charge customers $2 for paying their bills online. Fortified by her BoA victory, Molly and her band of online-signatories forced Verizon to reverse its policy in less than 24 hours.
Like never before, technology-fueled people power is enabling customers around the globe to punish bad corporate behavior and reward virtuous behavior. And as the examples above show, people are exercising their new-found power.
So what does all of this have to do with you? It means that you should be very interested in working for a company that does business in an “all-win” way. These “good companies” balance the interests of all of their shareholders – employees, customers, communities, and the environment – not just their stockholders. And the very good news is they make more money than the “bad guys.”
Simply put, your future earnings and employment prospects are far brighter if you work for one of the good guys.
So does your company make the grade? Click here for a quick (12 question) interactive assessment that will give you your company’s Good Company Quick Grade, based on the extent to which it is a good employer, good seller, and good steward of communities and the environment.
If your company’s grade is lower than a B, you might want to take action – perhaps dusting off your resume. Whatever the grade, consider speaking up in your workplace. Only the most tone-deaf companies have not yet begun to get the message that a new day has arrived – one where the balance of power is shifting from corporations to consumers, investors, and yes, even employees. (Check out our fun, new two-minute animation of the Good Company story.) Being a Good Company is good business.
We’ve got the hard-nosed economic evidence to back you up. Help us get the word out.