Last month, we noticed that our home cable bill (TV and Internet) went up. A lot.
So we called our provider – where we had been customers for over three years – to investigate. As anyone who has cable could guess, our “promotion ended” and we were now paying the “standard rate.”
We spent the next 90 minutes haggling with customer service – and even got transferred to the SUPER customer service when we uttered the phrase, “we could get a better deal from [our company’s #1 competitor].”
At the end of the day, we were able to get a relatively approximate rate to what we had been paying, with more or less the same service. We were NOT happy customers as this conversation cut deeply into our goodwill towards the company. Not quite enough to switch to a competitor just yet, but enough to start tipping the scale.
This got me thinking about a flaw in the business model many cable companies (and companies in general) use:
They spend more money and time on customer acquisition than customer retention.
In an era where more people are cutting the cord and relying on Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Roku, etc., for their entertainment, shouldn’t cable companies be doing everything possible to KEEP existing customers?
We live in a time when local businesses become instantly global — and global businesses can execute locally around the world; there have never been more choices for people to make.
Not every company should launch a sub-shop model (“Buy 9, Get 10th Free!”), but they need to consider retention on-par with acquisition. It’s not just about pricing – it’s about showing how much you value your customers in a crowded marketplace.
That appreciation will take different forms – and doesn’t always need to be expensive – but it is an investment worth making.
Image credit: By Mikhail Koninin [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons