How to Lose a Customer

May 20, 2007 · 1 comment

What’s the big deal about customer loyalty? Why is it important to have happy customers?

- An unhappy customer tells an average of ten people.
- It costs five times more for a business to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one.

Loyalty matters to the bottom line. Customer service is one of the keys to loyalty. Studies show that when customers complain, and their complaint is handled well, they’re very forgiving — only 5% will not repurchase. But if they complain and it’s NOT handled well, they will leave, and 90% of them will tell others about their bad experience.

Over the course of the last two weeks, my internet hosting company of three-plus years, IPowerWeb, lost me as a customer. They decided to transfer my websites to a new server, knowing I’d experience downtime, without notifying me first. They had problems with the transfer, causing more downtime. Repeated chats with live customer service resulted in bot-like responses, every time promising the sites would be back up in 24 hours… promising this daily for two weeks. Phone calls resulted in 45 minute hold times followed by hang-ups.

How could IPowerWeb have kept me as a customer? First, they should have notified me in advance about potential downtime from the server move. Even if they had neglected to do this, they could have salvaged my business by offering a sincere apology, a discount on my bill, intelligent responses from informed customer service reps with realistic time frames for my service to return. These folks screwed up in every conceivable way. And I’m not just telling 10 people, thanks to the blogosphere.

Companies, take heed: there’s a lesson to be learned here. Treat your customers right, or suffer the wrath of negative word of mouth…and bad feelings that last for years. Memolink can attest to that. “Fool me once, shame on me…”

Sorry ’bout the recent downtime, folks. Glad to be back.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tricia May 25, 2007 at 7:15 am

We are so glad to see that you are back up and running again. We’re still here to read along with you!


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