This past weekend, my husband and I went to the gym to cancel our membership. We had never been to this particular location before, but when we went in, we were surprised by how much nicer it was than others we had been to. We spoke with the associate at the counter, let’s call him Rich. When we had a question, he called someone to make sure he had the right answer for us. He was very courteous, easy-to-talk-to and he served us well. He put no pressure on us to stay and he didn’t try to sell us on a different level membership.
My husband noted to me how nice Rich had been to us. I agreed and considered not canceling our membership. I considered this only because of the kindness of Rich and how nice this particular location looked.
I was struck by Rich and how kind he was. He treated us as if we were signing up instead of ending our relationship with the gym. How he treated us changed our view and made us consider staying.
Have you ever broke up with someone and they treated you so badly afterward that you knew you made the right choice?
It’s because of this – how you say goodbye matters.
It always matters – from when you’re saying goodbye to friends who are moving away to when a customer is leaving your business.
If we treat people with respect and seek to serve them at all their points of contact with us (beginning, middle and end), they’ll naturally gravitate toward us in the future. It’s hard to lose customers, but if you end relationships with customers bitterly or coldly, they’ll be less likely to come back.
So let’s consider how we can serve customers better when they say goodbye. Here are some things I thought of:
- Put some time into a kind and creative goodbye for customers when they unsubscribe from your email newsletters. Don’t add a coupon or a sales pitch. Just a note at the unsubscribe page that creatively thanks and respects them. I’ve enjoyed several that have made me reconsider my choice.
- Train your employees to treat unhappy and leaving customers with care and respect, just as much as you do for potential customers.
- Make leaving less painful. Have you ever broken up with someone and they made it so easy that you kind of liked them more for it? Me either. But how nice would that be, right? Instead of making customers jump through complex hoops to cancel services, make it as easy as it is to sign up and serve them superbly even when they’re exiting.
This doesn’t sound like typical business strategy. I’m sure there are many who would push instead for you to craft a better sales pitch for exiting customers or make it as difficult as possible for them to leave so that you keep raking in their money. But typical businesses have been missing the mark. When we start treating customers like people and do everything in our power to serve them well from beginning to end, we all win.
What are some others ways we can serve customers better as they’re exiting?
Cover image info: Original, royalty-free image from Gratisography.
About the author: Lindsey Tolino comes alongside artisans, craftsman and people monetizing their passions to help them create healthy businesses. She shares her heart at ToBusinessOwners.com. Follow her on Twitter @LindseyTolino .