The Connection Between Clients and Old Shoes


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It is a truism of business that it costs more to find new customers than it does to keep old ones.

So, why do so many companies treat their existing customers so badly?  The phone company and the cable company offer all sorts of incentives for new customers to sign up (lower prices, extra channels, bundled services).

Old customers?  They’re old shoes, scuffed up, with the heels worn down.  Not bright and shiny like the new customers.  No goodies or discounts for them.

I just cut ties with an insurance company.  I’ve been with them for 19 years.  They didn’t even ask why.  Nor did they try to win me back. All they did (two months later) was send a note acknowledging the cancellation.

Why not do something remarkable?

What if the cable company occasionally offered a freebie to its current customers.  Like a surprise 25% discount on the anniversary of the day you signed up. Or a greeting card on your birthday.

It would build trust and loyalty.  And, it would be remarkable.  Customers would talk about it. They’d tell their friends. I mean, have you ever heard of the telephone company being nice?

We can do better

Large corporations, like the phone company or the cable company are often slow, bureaucratic, and sometimes a bit arrogant.

Since we’re agile and nimble and all that cool small business stuff, we can do better than that.  Keep in contact with your clients.  Email them or send them random surprises (the good kind) just because.  If they leave you, ask why.  . See what happens.