Showing posts with label service level. Show all posts
Showing posts with label service level. Show all posts

Friday 7 November 2014

Dark-net lessons for Light-net suppliers?

According to a fascinating article in The Economist, business is thriving on the anonymous internet, despite the efforts of law enforcers.

In fact, following last year’s closing down of Silk Road, a drug-dealing site on the “dark net”, dozens of dark-net Amazons and eBays (also known as crypto-markets) have sprung up to fill the void. They are not only proving remarkably resilient but expanding their offerings and growing more sophisticated.

Major players include Agora (weed, powders, pills and guns), whilst Evolution sells stolen credit-card, debit-card and medical information, guns and fake IDs and university diplomas...

These players operate in a different league to ‘normal’ in-house scammers such as those rogue employees of legitimate online providers that substitute rocks for high-end products ordered online.

According to the article, the dark retailers are into consumer satisfaction and repeat-purchase, in that narcotics product quality is higher than street trades, largely thanks to an Amazon-like five-star customer-review system (!).  In a den of thieves, high ratings are sellers’ lifeblood. Reputation is crucial when clients know they cannot fall back on small-claims courts or arbitration….

According to James Martin, author of “Drugs on the Dark Net”, the big markets’ customer service and marketing strategies increasingly resemble those of legitimate retailers. They are quick to apologise for technical glitches. Two-for-one specials, loyalty discounts and promotional campaigns are common (on Smoke Weed Day, say). Other methods borrowed from the corporate world include mission statements, terms and conditions, and money-back guarantees..

The key issue for legitimate suppliers has to be the fact that when even the crooks are raising the standards in consumer-satisfaction, how vital it is that Light-net providers adopt a zero-tolerance approach to their own online offering… 

HT to Anette Rahbek for pointer to the Economist article