Seriously, please don’t treat your loyal customers this way

Having the same cable/internet provider for well over a decade, I openly admit that my expectations from this company are to 1) know me and recognize that I’m a loyal customer, 2) make it easy to do business with them, and 3) have positive experiences through interactions.

Instead, the feeling of dread washes over me when I need assistance.  Whether the interaction involves tech support or lost internet connection, it’s as if the company doesn’t know who I am.  How is that possible, especially since I’ve been a customer for a good while and that allows the company to have historical insights into my customer data? 

I’ll explain by providing snapshots from recent interactions:

Scenario #1: Ignoring what you (should) know about your customer.

Like many other consumers, I eliminated home phone service.  Shortly thereafter, the same provider initiated numerous telemarketing calls to my mobile phone and sent multiple direct mail packages to my mailbox, offering a “Triple Play” bundle deal – cable, internet and home phone service.  It was obvious that they hadn’t taken the time to look at my customer data/profile to identify what services I currently use, those that I may be interested in and those that I’ve cancelled.  These communications were not only irrelevant to me, but also caused me to question the trust I’d placed in this brand.  Why not eliminate placing the onus on customers to contact you and simply make us aware of service upgrades that are readily available through your communication efforts? 

What Brands Should Do

  • Recognize/know me and what I like – and what products/services I use
  • Ensure that everyone who interacts with customers knows the history
  • Provide relevant, personalized communications that utilize real-time customer data

Scenario #2: Offering lower rates to new customers only aggravates loyal customers.

When I initially signed up for the company’s services, I was offered a “promotional” rate for the initial six months.  When the promotional rate ended, my bill contained a noticeable increase and caused me to contact the brand to find out what could be done.  The CSR’s response: “We have promotions all the time.  Let me see what I can find for you.”  Yes, they were able to locate a promotion that decreased my monthly bill – but, only for another six months.  They also encouraged me to call back at each six-month interval to find out if more promotions were available.  After several rounds of these interactions, the company realigned their pricing strategy to offer promotional rates only to new customers.  Ahh, yes, acquisition vs. retention of customers.  We get it.  However, ask yourself:  is this the way to treat your best customers? 

What Brands Should Do

  • Save me money
  • Save me time by providing a consistent experience that makes each interaction more valuable
  • Give me added benefits
  • Make it easy for me to do business with you

Brands, remember that loyalty is a two-way street and is in a state of transformation. Just as much as you strive to have our loyalty and advocacy – we need the same from you.