It seems to me that the bigger companies get, the more out of touch they are with how to properly treat their customers. And how you treat your customers will stay with them so much longer than your catchy ad, witty tagline, or latest “Everything Must Go” discount sale.
Let me fill you in on what I’m talking about. Earlier this week my subscription to Norton 360 was auto-renewed at $89.99. The price on their website is “save $20 – only $69.99!”
It’s only 20 bucks…
I’m not the kind of person to let something like that slide. You might say, hey it’s only 20 bucks. Not so much. To me it says “let’s count on the apathy of loyal customers, let’s see if we can slide this under the radar – it’s easy money…”
And, get this, I could get Norton 360 from Staples for $44.99 online without even leaving my office!!
So I get online and chat with the Norton call centre. Prathish is very polite, very efficient, and quickly refunds the charge, and cancels my subscription – no problem there.
I then ask how come, $69.99 on the website but not for me? Well, it’s company policy to renew existing customers at full retail!
No attempt at retention, no niceties, no nuthin’.
You bought already, don’t bother me
I see this type of thinking as so many kinds of wrong. To me it says, you bought and now I don’t have to care. Buy my product today, and we’ll worry about selling to you again later when we get there.
How’s that for a marketing message and building the relationship with your customer?
Now on the other hand, I can tell you about Myers Cadillac Chevrolet. These folks know how to treat you right!
This month we upgraded into a new vehicle, but didn’t need to as the previous one was only a couple of years old. What prompted us to do so is that I received a letter from Myers explaining that it might be financially viable and advantageous at this time. We checked out the numbers and options and it absolutely made sense. A no-brainer!
Now we’ve been dealing with Myers and Shawn Fields for 13 years already. Shawn is a low-key, straight-up and no BS kind of guy. The kind of person you can trust.
And we’ve been having our vehicles serviced there exclusively as well for the same reasons. You may think that getting service at a dealership costs more, but actually I find I get so much more value out of bringing my car to Myers.
1. They’re trained on their brands and know my vehicle.
2. They know me by name (It’s kinda like the TV show Cheers).
3. They do the job right the first time. (It’s been my experience, so I have to assume that’s most of the time.)
4. They have a great little restaurant & lounge where I can work.
5. Or they’ll drop me off & pick me up if I choose.
You’re a customer too!
Hmm, there’s a few interesting things going on in what I’ve just written:
1. I felt compelled to tell you about the infuriating (negative) experience first. Just human nature I guess (so I must be human…)
2. The Norton experience is only about $50 to $100 a year, so why even bat an eye at the price.
3. I’ve probably been a Norton customer longer than I’ve been a Myers customer.
4. I realize that you can’t compare the price of anti-virus software to the price of a car, but the margins are probably much higher.
5. Product matters and has to be good, but after you have that covered, service is everything.
6. How much have we spent with Myers over 13 years? I’m sure they are well aware!
7. How you treat your customers speaks volumes and is your number one marketing activity!
Marie Watkins is Chief Instigator at Marketing Strategics, whose corporate mission is to help business owners harness the power of the Internet to achieve greater sales volume, improved profit margins, and an army of raving customers and fans for their business!
To find out how Marketing Strategics can help your business, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 613.691.1221, extension 101.