Then something happened.
The store moved a few blocks away and they brought in a new manager.
Many of the staff that Bob knew went along, but growing pains, other new staff and inconsistent service delivery frustrated him. He shared his concerns with the new manager because he really liked their subs.
But changes didn’t happen fast enough.
Soon Bob dreaded the frustration of getting a good sandwich. He felt bad about continually complaining so he said goodbye.
What causes customers to quit, clients to resign and former fans to go away? In short, it is value disequilibrium. The cost of doing business isn’t only what we pay monetarily, but the emotional costs as well. Frustration, irritation and unhappiness undermine the value of any product, service or experience. When costs–direct and indirect–exceed value, customers quit. And that threshold is different for different customers. But any customer pushed far enough will go away.
Often your best customers will warn you that you’re losing their loyalty. While you might not enjoy their complaints, you should look at them like a gift (as my friend Janelle Barlow says). They are giving you an opportunity to save the relationship and regain their loyalty.
There is no rocket science: you simply have to take care of the customers who take care of you. If you don’t, they will quit you.
Who has been telling you they are unhappy? Are you listening? What are you doing about it?
I think that “reliable” and “predictable” seem like boring words to many people – but not to our customers. If they can count on getting what they came for, then they’re on the path to loyalty.