How are your actions making your customers feel?

How are your actions making your customers feel?

Last week I mentioned that I was less than satisfied with my television provider, then had switched to an even worse situation before ultimately discovering my new happy solution of live-stream television. The story of how that happened provides some entertainment value, but moreover it provides an opportunity to analyze how we treat our existing customers, and how  the way we treat them makes them feel about themselves, about our products, and about our company.

My adventure in TV started with my then current provider. I realized that I had been paying $200+ monthly for my internet and TV service for the last four years, and that in four years time equipment would have been drastically upgraded. As a long-term customer I believed I deserved access to the same equipment that new customers receive. I called and requested an upgrade at my home. Apparently this is not something that the provider does on a regular basis, and my request was denied. Sadly, this made me feel under-appreciated by the company and inspired me to seek an alternate provider.

I signed a contract with a new provider for a bundle of services including internet, television, and telephone as it was less expensive than purchasing just the internet and television that I needed. I hooked up the old phones with a giggle as we had been using Magic Jack for quite some time. Three days later I unhooked the phones and plugged Magic Jack back in since I received 9 phone calls for 4 different former customers who must have shared our new phone number. I was very used to answering phone calls only from people that really needed to talk to me, and I prefer it that way. The television needed to be rebooted a minimum of 3 times in a weeks time frame. It was obvious to me that spending time and energy on my new provider was not the way I would choose to spend my week, and that I needed to find a smarter  television solution. After and hour and a half on the phone I canceled my services and was grudgingly awarded a refund for my trouble.

That is where my story gets happy and I find the live-stream options. The irony? After making the switch and calling my original provider to cancel service they were alarmed that such a long-term customer would choose to seek service elsewhere. They asked what they could do to retain me… they even offered to come out and install new equipment! Too late satellite TV, too late.  Why wasn’t this an option before I needed to leave that service provider?  Why didn’t I matter until I left?

How are you treating your current clients and customers?  Do they feel valued and appreciated?
If not what is one thing you could do today to change that?

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