Throwing Loyal Customers Under The Bus

Throwing Loyal Customers Under The Bus

You, the loyal customer, use a service that generates a monthly invoice.  You have been a loyal customer for 7 years. Your credit card was compromised and you received a replacement. You inadvertently forget to give the service your new credit card information.  You get an email or letter from the company with a nasty message that your account is delinquent and your services will be cancelled unless the situation is immediately rectified.  If the company in question is a storage facility, your goods have just been held hostage. You have been locked out. Has that ever happened to you?

I am the loyal customer in the above scenario and offended and upset.

Customers are a company’s largest asset. Loyal customers are an organization’s most valuable asset. I cannot fathom why companies don’t use common sense when a credit card is denied. Don’t assume the worse.  I thought we were all innocent until proven guilty.

A company must look at the customer’s history. Have there been late payments in the past?  How long has the customer used your services? What is their lifetime value?

When a customer’s credit card payment doesn’t register, that is a golden opportunity for any company to reach out, express concern, and say thank you.

Anyone who has automated billings knows their card will periodically not validate a charge for a hundred reasons not related to skipping town.

Instead of accusing a new or long-term customer of being a delinquent, send a friendly and welcoming email. Here is a sample:

Dear Mr. Shapiro,

I hope you had a good week.

First, I want to thank you for being a valuable customer of Lock Up Storage Centers of Livingston. We really appreciate your business.

I’m not sure if you are aware your monthly charge was rejected by MasterCard. Unfortunately, many customers’ cards are being comprised and often the bank reissues a replacement.  We understand the customer sometimes forgets to notify each of their suppliers.

Please call our office at 201 564 3000 between the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, from Monday to Friday and speak to either John or Fred about the discrepancy.

Once again, we value and appreciate your business.

Have a wonderful day.

Yours truly,

Jason Smith

Regional Manager

Don’t automatically assume your customers are guilty as charged. If you throw your customers under the bus, they will take the first road to find another service or product from a company that understands their value.

How many times has this happened to you?

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About the Author ()

Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies amassing the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business, was released in February, 2016.

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