Serendipity is an amazing thing. I just happened to read these two blog posts back to back. I read both of these blogs regularly and I find myself nodding as I read them many times. Today though, by some chance I read them sequentially and it really set off a firestorm of ideas.
The first was by Seth Godin, speaking on getting referrals. He postulates, “The only thing that will make you remarkable is being worth remarking about”. So that’s on the front side. Getting people to refer business to you is all about being worthy of their efforts on your behalf.
The second post was by Steve Curtin, speaking about customer retention. He says (quoting from Exceptional Service Exceptional Profit) “Individual customers are irreplaceable”. Once you lose a customer, he’s gone for good. You have to know how much a customer is worth to you over a lifetime and then treat them accordingly.
This all came together in a very concrete way because DirecTV has been trying to get me to come back to them for months. I switched to cable because I got lousy service. Plain and simple. Even before I ditched them, they continually tried to get me to sacrifice my friends and family to their vengeful god by offering me money and discounts. Honestly, if they had just treated me fairly, I would still be with them. (I’m lazy. I don’t change unless I have to.) If, heaven forbid, they had treated me well, I would have told other about them. FOR FREE EVEN!
Don’t be DirecTV. Be fair and you won’t lose irreplaceable customers. Be excellent and your work will spread beyond your reach.