With many companies it’s pretty easy to say good bye forever if they are no longer meeting a need or if their service levels decline past the point of no return. We just stop going.
Some companies have the ability to make their customer’s live difficult if or when they want to leave. Business or personal lives can be impacted negatively. I have been trying to get out of a rather unsatisfactory relationship with a vendor for over two months now. Without going into all the frustrating details, here is the short list:
1. Poor email response times from “support”;
2. Waits up to three hours on live chat for help when email requests are not responded to;
3. The suggestion that I have to pay to leave them when competitors make the option as simple a click on a button on their website. (And yes, there probably was something about that in the very fine print that I did not see initially)
Here’s my two choices: stay and try again next year to make the transfer or leave and keep my fingers crossed that I will receive all the information I need from them in a timely manner to make a successful switch to a new provider. Choosing to leave now involves trust levels I simply do not have, so I am staying for one more year. I have to wonder if back in their office, there are high-fives all around each time a customer gives up and pays up for another year.
I understand not wanting to lose a customer, but a corporate decision to make leaving more frustrating than staying, is in the long run, bad for business. Companies that focus on making each and every customer touch point positive and as painless as possible, including the one where the customer says “good bye”, get it. They know that if the process of leaving is painless and simple, there is a chance they will see that customer again someday. And if they don’t, at least they won’t have sown seeds of frustration and anger.