Reward Loyalty

Whose happiness is more important to the success of your business — that of your future customers, or that of your longtime customers?

I let my cable/internet/phone provider have it yesterday, because I found out that new customers are able to purchase their services for a lower “introductory” price than I, who have been a customer of theirs for nearly a decade.

I knew there wasn’t much I’d be able to do.  I have no intention of switching services, and the customer service rep did everything she was allowed to do to get my bill as low as possible.  But I still asked to speak to a supervisor, because if it were my business, I’d want to know if a ten-year customer wasn’t happy.

I first explained what a pleasant experience I’d had with the customer service rep who transferred me (true).  Then I told him about how happy I’ve been with their product over the years (also true), and how often we recommend their services to others (also true).  And when I (courteously) expressed my displeasure with the notion that someone who isn’t even a current customer has access to a better rate than me… you know what happened?

He apologized me off the phone.  I didn’t get my bill lowered, I wasn’t satisfied, and I still have great services at a price I feel is a bit too high.  Overall, not much has changed.  Although things between us won’t quite be the same, and I’ll probably recommend their services a little less enthusiastically now.  But more importantly, I spoke up.  And I’ll probably still follow up via e-mail to their corporate office.  Because as I mentioned, if it were my business, I’d want to know.

Best of all, the experience has reminded me to first make sure my current customers are happy, before I worry about pleasing strangers.

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