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.