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When you’re replaceable, your customer service can’t be

We pay a lot for a traditional phone line. But when it goes dead, we start using mobiles and Skype. And they work just fine.

When the fancy email server crashes, we realize that Gmail works fine.

When the copy machine breaks, we just scan and print stuff. And cancel the lease on the copy machine.

Lesson: If your service has a free or cheap alternative, you’re one screw-up away from being replaced. You’ve got to get it right, every time.

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  1. Bradley Robb October 2, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    That or get out of the commodity market and find better ways to provide value. The free alternative is a great way to spur organizations to cannibalize their own products lest someone else does it for them.

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