By Ronni Marshak
SVP and Sr. Consultant/Analyst, Patricia Seybold Group
In these hard economic times, we keep being reminded how important it is to keep the customers that you have. But sometimes you simply can’t. The customers aren’t moving to another provider, they are simply doing without.
So it is important to also offer a great customer experience for the customers you are losing so that, when things get better (soon, we all hope!), they will be excited about returning to do business with you.
Looking at finances this week—and facing a major construction repair project in my condominium—I realized that I had to cut down on expenses in anticipation of a possibly bleak financial year and continuing investment losses. Just yesterday, I had two very different customer experiences related to reducing my costs.
An Unpleasant Product Cancellation Experience
First, the bad experience:
Months ago, I ordered a beautiful, yet relatively expensive sweater online from an etailer with whom I have often done business, and with whom I have a great history. The sweater was backordered, but I was informed it would be shipped before the end of the year. During the holidays, I got an email notice saying “good news, your backordered item has been shipped and should arrive within 5 to 8 business days.” And then I forgot about it as I went about celebrating with family and friends.
Since I hadn’t yet received the sweater, I called the company, first, to see where it was, and second, to arrange to return it. I really didn’t need it.
After going through the IVR labyrinth, I was connected with a lovely woman to whom I told my story. She checked my account and saw that the delivery company stated that the package had been left outside my (condominium’s) door. Since my item was now “missing” (probably stolen, since it was left outside the building), she had to escalate to a supervisor.