Creating goodwill

Is there a company or organization with which you won’t do business or give a donation because you feel it has not treated you right? Many of us have this aversion to giving more to those who don’t do well by us.

Just a few weeks ago I bought an item at Radio Shack. I was assured that returning it would not be a problem. Well, it wasn’t a problem per se, other than they required my full address, phone and God knows what else, in spite of the fact I had the receipt and the credit card in hand. Then, I didn’t actually get the credit until I got American Express involved. After a few days, the credit was done and I had goodwill toward Amex, but resentment toward Radio Shack. Making a return there was a hassle, to say the least, and with that in mind, I won’t be buying anything at Radio Shack if it can be avoided.

Goodwill has to do with how we treat others, and how others treat us. If we are treated badly or indifferently, we don’t like it. No amount of advertising or public relations will compensate for lack of goodwill. Radio Shack could have everything on sale, but I am not going to shop there.

If a company makes goodwill an integral part of their sales and marketing (and operations), it will pay off. Goodwill creates happy customers. Happy customers may become repeat customers, and even goodwill ambassadors. If you have a good experience with something, you will share it.  Similarly, if you have a bad experience, you will share it, and that will take the lack of goodwill viral.

With social media, large organizations have the chance to interact directly with people. When I had the problem with Radio Shack, I mentioned the company in a couple of Tweets. And guess what, NO response.

More importantly, those of us who use social networks regularly have a chance to build goodwill with our followers (groups). We can answer questions, re-tweet posts, offer encouragement, support causes. And the payoff is goodwill.

We are more likely to associate with people and organizations to which we feel goodwill.

What are you doing to create goodwill?


About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.

2 thoughts on “Creating goodwill”

  1. Funny you should mention Radio Shack… I actually stopped buying from them years ago for exactly the same reason. I don’t think I’ve bought anything bigger than a battery from a Radio Shack store since.

    Why don’t companies understand that facilitating returns actually makes me more inclined to shop with you?

    Generating goodwill is part of the “doing business with people you like” thing. It matters. And when you lose it, you lose customers.

    1. Yes, a company’s policies really affect how customers perceive it. Negative perceptions are hard to get rid of. Apparently, Radio Shack has a long road ahead in terms of customer satisfaction!

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