Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Final questions can build customer loyalty .

I recently stopped using a service that was getting $984 annually from me for the last 7 years. I called the local office to check on cancellation procedures and discovered it was amazingly simple. I was told just don’t pay the next monthly invoice.

Here is the really amazing part – the manager did not make any attempt to salvage my business. There was no inquiry of, “Can I ask what is causing you to….” or “What can we do to keep you as a customer?” After that first call, I stopped by the office to get my final bill to show the account was closed. Once again, the manager missed an opportunity to do an exit interview.

It would have been very simple to just ask – “Since we are always looking for ways to improve our service, what is the one thing we could have done differently to make that a better experience for you?” Or how about a polite, “Mrs. Ford, we do appreciate your business for these last 7 years. We will be happy to serve you again in the future if your needs change.”

It is easy to blame the economy as the reason customers are leaving. Stop assuming and find out the real reasons for customer loss. Your questions, show an interest and appreciation that may keep their loyalty. You may certainly gain valuable information to improve your business. My lifetime value was $6,888. Aren't a few questions worth that? Now is the time to start asking more questions. Prepare your final questions and you may create some new beginnings.

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