Lessons are learned by watching big firms forget the importance of customer service. I will share this experience as a learning point for small business owners.
Approximately three months ago I upgraded my blackberry to a new blackberry bold ( they stopped selling that model the day after my purchase). I was told it was the very best phone available, and after many years of blackberry experience with Alltel as my carrier, I had no reason to doubt that Verizon would extend the same quality of service.
To make a long story short, I am now on my 3rd blackberry bold ( they keep sending me rebuilt units) and was just told by their tech support that my current phone needs to be replaced by another re-built model. I paid approximately $200 with a 2 year contract to upgrade. Now they want $500 for an upgrade because they have me under contract; otherwise, I can get a free rebuilt model like my existing one which may or may not work.
The lesson is called customer service. They are willing to lose me as a customer instead of working with me to solve my problem. I have spoken to Verizon store mangers, supervisors on the telephone and called blackberry direct and spoke to a supervisor.They all read from the same script and basically said that they will not do anything to help.
It does not make good business sense to lose a customer and the customer’s referrals, which may amount to hundreds of dollars a month income instead of spending less than a hundred dollars, one time, to remedy the issue.
Don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish when you get a complaint from a customer. Use it as an opportunity to build a stronger relationship and grow your business. Unlike a Verizon or Blackberry who works on the “Numbers game” instead of customer service, a small business needs to cherish its clients and then always remember that fact as they grow. Big companies can still fail unless they learn from their mistakes. A small business can out live a large company if it always takes care of its customers first.
70% of lost customers hit the road not because of price or quality issues but because they didn’t like the human side of doing business with the prior provider of the product or service.