Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Customer Loyalty and Transparency

I am still amazed at how a customer has to complain before they qualify for the “better deal”. For example, I have been a customer with the natural gas utility company for over 25 years . Our payment history shows timely payment for those years. After receiving our last bill, I called to question the 100% increase from the prior month. I knew it had been colder and we had been at home more due to snow, however the large increase was still surprising. The customer service representative was very thorough in her explanation and I was a calm and receptive customer.

Here’s the issue – after coming to grips that the bill was accurate, she finally offered me the “better deal”. The company has a locked-in per therm rate which would have saved me over $100 on the bill in question. The locked-in rate is offered for 6, 12 or 18 months time periods. I am a savvy customer and I had never heard of this option. I am familiar with budget billing but not a lower per therm rate for a fixed period of time.

So, exactly when does a customer find out about this? Does it really mean calling to complain, and question a bill before I get this info? Again, I am a loyal customer with an impeccable payment record, this strategy does not make sense to me. Loyalty is at stake here, there are other natural gas providers I can choose from. Don't your best customers deserve the best treatment. Your best customers deserve good information to make informed decisions.

Are you guilty of having great offers but not telling your customers until they complain to you? Is it up to the customer to have an issue before they are informed of options? Are some of those options mostly used to lure the new customer but not offered to the long time loyal one? Don’t risk losing a customer due to your reluctance to share valuable information. Customers don’t like to think you are hiding from them, or worse taking advantage of them.

Be transparent. Be proactive. Show the customer you value them.

1 comment:

Devid Pul said...

You made some good points there.I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.Thanks

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