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Bill 'Em and Ignore 'Em — New Strategy for Customer Retention Peggy Carlaw

You would think that with the econ­omy being what it is, com­pa­nies would value every cus­tomer and do their best to keep them. Not our out­sourced IT ser­vices com­pany. In addi­tion to our man­aged ser­vices con­tract (which seems low and fair), we get monthly state­ments for labor that we can't cor­re­late with any­thing we requested. No prob­lem. We're happy to be enlight­ened. But can we get them to call us to dis­cuss it? No. Can we get them to come out or return a call to talk about upgrades we want to make? No. We've even sent an e-mail say­ing that we're look­ing around at their com­peti­tors and would like to talk with one of their sales peo­ple to com­pare offer­ings. Do they respond? No. Will they be shocked when we reply that we've left them for the com­pe­ti­tion? You betcha!

Now you might say, "Well, they're prob­a­bly close to clos­ing their doors." Nope. They're busy adver­tis­ing and look­ing for new business.

We don't have any prob­lems with how our equip­ment works…we have close to 100% uptime. But there are a gazil­lion com­pa­nies who can give us that. So why should we put up with lousy ser­vice? As you can imag­ine, we're not! We know we're not their biggest cus­tomer but hey…we're at least worth the price of a cou­ple of ads they run each month. Now they'll need a new cus­tomer to pay for those.

Use this post to eval­u­ate how you're treat­ing your cus­tomers. If you haven't spo­ken with them recently, reach out to them to see what you can do to make their lives eas­ier.  Folks want their com­put­ers up and their tech­ni­cal issues solved, but they want to feel val­ued at the same time.

More about cus­tomer reten­tion.

Peggy Car­law is the founder of Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems, a lead­ing train­ing com­pany spe­cial­iz­ing in improv­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions between front-line employ­ees and cus­tomers. Peggy is co-author of sev­eral books pub­lished by McGraw-Hill, includ­ing Man­ag­ing and Moti­vat­ing Con­tact Cen­ter Employ­ees and The Big Book of Cus­tomer Ser­vice Train­ing Games.
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Peggy Carlaw
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