I keep seeing the same thing happen again and again. Yet every time it amazes me.
Companies (large and small) find ways to make it fast and easy to do business with the, Online sign-up for services. Web based purchases of products. Plenty of good, useful information to help people make their buying decisions.
The innovation of companies in making it easy to buy from them is fantastic.
So, why is it so hard to STOP buying from so many of them?
You sign up for a service online but to cancel, they force you to call them.
You buy a product, it’s shipped the same day and, of course, your credit card is charged the same day. But to return the product you have to send them an email, wait 5 days for a return authorization. Then you wait 30 to 45 days for them to acknowledge your refund and credit the purchase back to your credit card.
And it’s not just one industry that does this. It’s many, many industries.
Why do people who manage companies think it’s okay to make it harder to stop doing business with them than it is to start?
I call this customer abuse.
I’m convinced some companies work harder to not let customers leave than they do to provide great service. In fact, for many companies, their slogan should be:
“At ABC Company, We make it hard for you to leave.”
Here’s a crazy idea.
What if companies had a rule that said stopping had to be as easy as starting.
So, if you can use a fast and convenient web form to start doing business with a company, then you could use a fast and convenient web form to stop doing business with them.
No calls. No return authorizations. No surveys. No waiting 45 days to get your money back.
In other words, treat customers who want to leave just as well as you treat new customers.
I call this integrity.
Because it’s consistent. It requires you to treat everyone with the same level of respect and consideration.
Crazy. I know.
It’s crazy because to do this, companies would have to start focusing on what their customers really want. They’d have to try to see things from their customer’s perspective. They’d have to get to know their customers and truly care about helping them. They’d have to make it their purpose to serve their customers.
But it’s not so crazy.
Because all over the world, people are managing their companies this way. From Main Street to Metropolis, businesses are treating their customers well. They are putting their customer’s needs first because they’re in business to serve them.
They do this because they know when they serve their customers well, their customers will serve them by remaining loyal customers. And they’ll tell others to do the same.
What goes around comes around. Everyone wins.