What you are about to read is not a complaint. It may seem like one, but read on. There is a valuable lesson at the end of the story. I just recently received a “Notice of Suspension” from a company we’ve been doing business with for several years. It came as a result of a […]
What you are about to read is not a complaint. It may seem like one, but read on. There is a valuable lesson at the end of the story.
I just recently received a “Notice of Suspension” from a company we’ve been doing business with for several years. It came as a result of a past due balance on our account. This surprised me as we are set up for automatic payment through my credit card. It turns out that the credit card had a new expiration date on it. Same number, just a new expiration date.
All of the other companies that we pay using this credit card notified us that we needed to update the credit card information – changing the expiration date. The company that threatened to suspend my account, which happens to be a very large company, was the only one that sent this unfriendly letter and obviously didn’t have a system to ask for updated credit card information.
I wondered why my sales rep, who originally seemed so interested in getting my business, was not on top of this. After all, if we went away, she would not receive her ongoing stream of commissions that she had been getting for the last several years. Well, all it took was a quick call to the company to get back in their good graces.
But, what would have happened if I had even the slightest reason to consider looking for another vendor. They gave me an easy out. And as fast as that computer generated “Notice of Suspension” arrived in our mailbox, we could have been doing business with someone else.
Years ago I worked with a branch of the military on their recruiting tactics. We were talking about how they get a soldier to reenlist. One of their people said he started on his recruits about two weeks before the decision needed to be made. My comment was that he should be starting the renewal process the day they enlist.
When it comes to creating loyalty, we can’t wait until we look like we are going to lose it to try and keep it. And, we shouldn’t do things (such as send unnecessary “Notice of Suspension” letters) that could potentially upset a customer. Loyalty needs to start at the beginning of the process and continue throughout the lifetime of the customer. Manage the contact with the customer ever step of the way. What we are doing today should always be something that would make the customer want to come back the next time – every time!
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