June 7, 2022

How To Lose A Customer For Life/Or Not

By Paul Bieber

It sure is easy to change a vendor. Here is an example. I live in a rural area in southern New Hampshire. When we moved here, we had the local phone provide internet service. Lousy coverage in the house and stupidly high rates.

So, ten years after struggling with this, internet service became available through a roof-mounted dish with a national company. Twice as expensive as what I had, but oh, so worth it.
Well, that local phone company was sold, and then resold and they put a lot of effort into upgrading their service. About a month ago our street was wired to fiber optics for the internet.

I spoke with a couple of neighbors and heard the service was great. I called, spoke with a great person for ten minutes and she told me the installation would take place in three days and that my new cost was about $80 a month less than I pay now. The installation was right on time and the service is great.

So, where does this blog come from? I called the satellite company to cancel my service with them. I spoke with a customer service person and when she asked why I was canceling, I told her my new service was less expensive and offered a faster download speed. She said that she would offer me a $20 a month customer appreciation discount. I told her that it wouldn’t work and I already had the new service in. She said, in that case, I can give you a $30 a month discount and when I said no thanks; she was OK with that.

But wait, where was that $30 discount before this? Three hundred and sixty dollars a year caught my attention and upset me. Only when there’s a real case of losing a customer does the price come down.

Okay, glass people, here’s the lesson for us. When you take a contract for an ongoing period of time with a fixed price, keep your eye on the customer. At least once a year look at the price you are charging and get a feel for what the economy is doing in relation to this contract. If prices are falling, for whatever reason, don’t wait for your customer to ask for a lower rate. It is too late by then. Call them and congratulate them on a new lower price based on economic trends. They will be pleased to no end and trust you more when you have to raise prices sometime in the future.

Don’t get caught like the internet company did to me. Be upfront with your pricing and renewals and you will come out way ahead.

A good quote to remember and teach:

“Have a dream, chase it down, jump over every single hurdle, and run through fire and ice to get there.”
— Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO of Bumble