When building your business you think about what best for your customers. What will attract them to my store or services.

You may also think about stick strategies, such as what will make them become a repeat buyer or utilize your service long term.

One area we don’t think about is if they haven’t returned for a repeat purchase. Are they even aware you have additional products? Once they buy do you forget about them and never contact them again?

Another area I see a struggle with is when you have a subscription service or membership program. This is where I myself have seen a real challenge and I know it happens to others.

The first scenario is a gym membership, this national chain does a great job of getting you enrolled but the lack on communication or incentives to get you back in the gym doesn’t help you stay motivated. Of course this is a tough membership for long term retention but what’s even tougher is canceling the membership.

First you realize you’re not using the membership like you really intended. I mean we all do good the first couple of months, right? So you start feeling bad about it. Then, your reminded about it on your bank statement and feel bad again. Finally you come to terms with you just need to call and cancel the membership. The thing is, this companies policy is you must come in and fill out a form.

Now I went from feeling bad to feeling pretty steamed. I was having troubles getting to the gym in the first place now I have to make a special trip to fill out a form! That seems like more work than the fitness program. Several months later you still haven’t canceled and not only do you have an even worse feeling about the membership you’ve shared your own unhappiness with others making them question even starting a membership there.

Another scenario is a software company that runs a service on your computer. Good company, great service, until you decide to cancel. First thing in my case I switched services due to the amount of data I back up. I removed their software and shortly after I started getting emails that my computer hadn’t been backed up in awhile. I really liked the proactive reminders.

The reminder, reminded me I needed to cancel, so I replied stating that I needed to cancel. The email was an automated service and replies rejected. I went back to the email, located the website, tracked down my log in, reset my password (it was an auto generated password on order) and set the billing to not auto-renew. Turns out to actually terminate the service you must call and speak to a representative. Just to be fair it won’t auto renew, but you get all kinds of messages about failed billings while still getting the messages that your backups are out of date.

The point I’m trying to make here is, why make them work so hard to cancel. Yes, we would like to have them as a long term client/customer but by giving them a negative experience not only will they not come back you also risk them spreading the word about their awful experience. A quick stat for you.

“News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience.”

I hope this helps you think about customer retention as well as the policies you put into place about how people exit as well as enter your sales process.  As also, I appreciate your comment in the space provided below.

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