Profitable Top Line Growth

Andy Birol, Birol Growth Consulting

And Take That For Being a Loyal Customer!

Last month, I had to switch from Direct TV to ATT U-Verse, not because I wanted to, but because ATT stopped providing DSL lines when they introduced U-Verse bundled services.

With regret, I informed Direct TV that after 6 years of high satisfaction, I would have to cancel my premium service on all four TVs, and my reason why.

In return, Direct TV fully punished me for my disloyalty by charging me a $200 hardware penalty on the equipment even after I shipped the boxes back.  While U-Verse is more robust, I have missed the reliability of Direct TV despite paying their fine. 

But wasn’t I surprised next when my mailbox was flooded with both new customer and come-back offers from Direct TV with hundreds of dollars off, no set up fees, free movies!  Sadly, all they did was make me feel pleased about leaving Direct TV. 

What lessons can we learn from this?

  1.  We all know we pay for content and service. 
    Why punish your customers for obsolete hardware that’s paid for itself and you will resell! 
  2. Don’t just ask why your loyal customer is leaving you, but design win-back tactics for each key reason why.
  3. Treat your “departed” customers better than your prospects, even when they leave you. 
    Their passion and credibility in word-of-mouth marketing is palpable (i.e. this blog post) 

Your thoughts and comments, please.


Filed under: Profitable Top Line Growth

6 Responses

  1. I love your point #2 about “win-back tactic,” Andy. That would make a great blog post by itself.

    How about:

    “10 Awesome Win-Back Tactics When a Customer Says So Long”.

    — Anita

  2. John Ettorre says:

    There’s some great stuff in here, Andy.

  3. Paul Race says:

    Not only the big boys – I’ve been startled by examples of bad customer service from national chains and local shops at a time when you would imagine folks would be doing all they can to keep customers. We actually keep hearing excuses like, “We had to fire the last guy because he kept honoring our coupons,” or whatever. In one case, I was going to a garage that was very inconvenient for me just because the manager had helped me sort out a tricky problem and given me good service since. When I took a vehicle there recently, they charged me double their advertised rate for a service, then told me they had to because the last guy (the one I liked) had been giving people like me breaks we didn’t deserve. Huh? I guess the new business model is to kick the customer on their way out the door. . . .

  4. Andy Birol says:

    Paul, it saddens me to hear stories of small business owners taking the low road when they can do so much better by taking the high road. Don’t lose faith or hope as the majority of small business owners wouldn’t tolerate or take such actions!

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