TunesDay, and what better theme for a business-related post than the Steve Miller Band‘s Take The Money And Run? Steve Miller is an interesting cat. Unlike most rock stars, he’s always been the kind of guy you couldn’t identify in a lineup. You can probably picture most of the other big-name artists of the 70’s and 80’s. He might be a little harder to visualize. The list of musicians who have come though his band over the years – Boz Scaggs being the most notable – include members of Journey, Santana, and others. The band came out of the Bay Area music scene in the late 60’s and is still with us today.
His song about Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue is about two kids who decide to rob a house, possibly killing the owner in the process. They evade the law and get away singing “Go on, take the money and run.” The story is in complete contrast to the light music – let’s listen and see:
There is a business point here. Too many businesses think as do Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue. They’re not particularly concerned with what’s right, only with themselves. They practice the Golden Rule: he who has the gold rules, and once they extract it from their victims, they’re gone. That tactic worked once for these kids and it won’t work much more often for a business. One bad customer experience can haunt a company forever (just ask United Airlines about guitars). An American Express survey found a couple of years ago that people tell an average of nine people about good experiences, and nearly twice as many (16 people) about poor ones.
You don’t need to take the money and run as a business. That same survey found a large majority of people (70 percent) are willing to spend an average of 13 percent more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service. In other words, your customers will GIVE you the money if you do right by them, and they’ll keep coming back.
While it makes for a clever little tune, taking the money and running is a bad business idea. You agree?