Think about this for a moment… what unforced errors is your company making with its customers right now?
Customers have developed thick skins as it relates to product quality and customer experience. While they have come to expect problems, they aren’t apt to accept all of them (e.g. Samsung Galaxy 7).
One problem that recently crossed my desk was a note that read, “I see that your company used our services in the past, although I’m not sure why you made a change to another service, I welcome the opportunity to earn your business back.”
- Unforced error #1 was the poorly constructed sentence. This type of error falls into the unfortunate but forgivable category.
- Unforced error #2 was that we had NOT in fact changed to another service. We were still a customer in good standing. This error is unfortunate, preventable and unforgivable.
What does this ill-timed and incorrect message actually communicate?
- We don’t value you as a customer and in fact,
- We don’t know who our customers are
Since I was already a customer of this Fortune 100 company, it made me wonder about alternative providers – for example, alternatives capable enough to keep track that I AM a customer. And indeed, switching providers seems a likely outcome!
Years ago I had a boss who used to hammer home the point that once you had acquired a customer, you should do anything to keep them. Experience has since taught me that applying this “rule” too broadly can actually be a mistake. However, he would have burst a few blood vessels if we ever did anything so stupid as trying to re-sell a customer we had already won.
The pivot point is to know thy customers. And then, for goodness sake, value them.