Posts Tagged "customer retention"

About twice a year, out of nowhere, an envelope appears in my mailbox from Wells Fargo. It’s always a surprise. And it always has a brand new, shiny Wells Fargo ATM debit Visa for this here Brass Flowers, Inc. bank account. It comes with a letter basically saying they detected fraud on the account so here’s a new credit card. Activate it and destroy the old one.

This mostly means that everybody I’m going to pay for the next month will be emailing me saying my payment didn’t go through.

The second vendor to notice the old card not going through is Line2. I’ve had them for 3 years now, and was due to pay for my fourth. I plan to keep them. I don’t use them that much but when I do, I’m happy to have their service.

My credit card didn’t go through, and this was the first email I received about it. Click to enlarge:

2014-07-27 02.09.50

WOW! Account blocked. And I have 48 hours to pay them $99.50 or else they will completely cancel my account, erase everything I’ve ever received, and give my phone number to someone else.

That seems kinda like the third email you send someone who hasn’t paid. Not the first.

And what if you sent this to me as I boarded an international flight, where I won’t be at my destination for about 36 hours and maybe there is no internet? Maybe I don’t see this for a few days or a week because I’m on a cruise ship with no internet or wildly expensive internet. It IS summer vacation season. Is it really worth losing a customer over $99?

More importantly, the email didn’t make me feel like a happy or valued customer. It made me feel like I was being threatened. Because I was being threatened. I’m a good customer. I have always paid them. Treat me like I’m a good customer who will make this right ASAP. Treat me like this is a mistake, and don’t go right for your last ditch warning.

It got worse.

After I updated my card and paid, I got an email saying my card (showing the old number) was declined and I’ll be cancelled in 48 hours. It’s Saturday. They only offer customer support on weekdays. That means they might cancel me before I can get someone to help me.

And my bank account shows the charge pending with them which means it did go through. Yet when I log into their website it shows my old card. Huh? I just updated my card, saved that, and paid!


I’d give people more time to pay before you take their phone number away and give it to someone else. Because guess what. If you actually did that and gave my phone number to someone else 48 hours after trying to charge my closed-due-to-fraud-out-of-my-control card, I wouldn’t come back. I’d find another service that understands that things go wacky for customers, and sometimes people need a little time to make things right. Once I lost my phone number, I would have no reason to be a loyal Line2 customer. I’m mostly still with them because I want to keep this phone number going. Give that away and you’ve definitely lost me.

Line2 should take a page from domain names and many other services. Think about how many times you’re emailed that your domain name will expire soon. And then how you still have a grace period if it expires. That’s a service designed to save people from their own mistakes or disorganisation (or random fraud, in my case). Line2 could try that. That make catch more flies.

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Last week, I wrote a blog post about RelayRides. The short version is that their customer support seemed non-existent, and I was too concerned about insurance to be their customer. The longer version is a good read.

After that blog post, RelayRides tweeted me that they wanted to “clarify” things I wrote in my blog post. This implies that things I wrote were incorrect and needed to be corrected. OK, whatcha got?

I was emailed by the “Community Manager” named Steve. He wanted to schedule calls with me. I didn’t want to take the time. Plus, I like having everything in writing. It makes quoting people SO much easier later.

In short, I had a few key questions that nobody from RelayRides had answered:

  • If someone renting my car causes a bad accident, can I be personally sued as the car owner?
  • Why do you only have $1M of insurance when that’s what I have as a UX consultant? Given the total carnage a car can cause, shouldn’t you have way more insurance?
  • If someone renting my car causes a bad accident that creates millions of dollars in medical care for injured people, who pays that? RelayRides only carries $1 million in insurance. What if someone sues for $15M for ongoing medical care for gravely injured people? Am I stuck paying for that? Who pays that?

Those were the types of questions I’d love to get clarified because in reality, I hoped RelayRides had all ducks in a row and would tell me that renting with them is a zero liability, zero financial risk activity for a car owner. I’d LOVE to be using a service like that. My car sits in my driveway unused.

So how were those emails with RelayRides?

Painful. I learned two main things from Steve’s emails back and forth for days:

  1. California has a law that allows people to rent their cars to other people without having commercial plates or commercial insurance. OK, so we can legally DO it. That still doesn’t answer the insurance questions.
  2. RelayRides is proud of their $1M insurance policy because it’s so much more than the state minimum. It’s so much more than most people buy for their own car insurance.

That’s true. I don’t carry $1M of insurance. But I also don’t expect to cause $1M or more of sue-able carnage. I don’t get into car accidents or cause them. There are a number of personality traits I have and choices I make that make me really unlikely to cause any car accident ever. Which means my insurance won’t be paying for someone else’s medical care. The person responsible for the accident will be stuck with that, and I’m rather confident it won’t be me.

That doesn’t mean that I can be sure that strangers renting my car are as serious as I am about personal choices, rules of the road, health, and defensive driving. For all I know, I’m renting to a guy with a drinking habit and insomnia who sometimes loses consciousness behind the wheel. He could cause over $1M in bodily harm.

So that’s great for most people that you went higher than state minimums. Thanks! But what happens when someone is sued for $15M and you have $1M of insurance? I never got that answer. What I’ve chosen personally for my car insurance is barely relevant. You’re picking strangers to drive my car and you’re putting your insurance on the line. Does that insurance really protect me in a worst case scenario?

Did you ever learn why they didn’t previously answer your emails asking these questions?

Steve acted like it was some awful customer service snafu that my same questions weren’t answered in my original email to customer service when my car had a potential rental… nor were the questions answered after I rejected the rental and emailed the company to tell them my concerns. A customer service OOPS, he was sure.

But it’s not an awful customer service mistake at all because Steve, Mr Community Manager, didn’t answer them either. He wanted me to take a phone call with the COO, but I want things in writing. TELL me in writing that I will have no liability. Because I can’t find that anywhere on your site in writing. Can’t tell me in writing? Then something’s up.

And everything’s coming up roses!

Steve also gleefully told me that their marketplace has been working just fine and just the way it was designed. Great! Will it work when a guy driving my car crashes into a school bus of kids and paralyses all of them? I need a platform that works in ALL cases, not just the happiest cases where everything goes right.

I shop Amazon because they cover my butt the moment I have a concern or complaint, no negotiation, no “OH we don’t cover that.” I go to a mechanic that stands behind his work if the work doesn’t turn out to fix my problem. When I consult for eBay sellers, we have a clause in our contract that says if something we put in the seller’s eBay listings breaks eBay rules at the time we install it, we will fix the problem at no charge since it’s our fault.

I’m not comfy with a platform that is playing 80/20 rule with people’s lives and medical needs when the chips are down and things go really badly. Any of us can end up in the 20.

So what did he clarify from your original blog post?

Nothing. I still don’t know what my original blog post had so wrong other than it drew attention to things to which they don’t want attention drawn.

I also knew that it was going to be a weak conversation when Steve replied to one of my emails complaining about how upsetting it was to get an email with profanities. I was unhappy with his email linking me to go read things on his site (that I had already read) and referred to that as “shit” he linked. And when he happily told me that a recent court case they were involved in was resolved to their satisfaction, I congratulated him on not getting “unwantedly fucked.”

When an adult professional acts medieval Puritan about “shit” and “fuck” when not used AT the person (it’s not like I said he was a fucking shithead), I know he doesn’t have much to say and needs to fill email space by acting like I’ve written something so awful. Put the focus on ME.

Hey, Deb. What happened when you asked him a fifth time to answer your same questions?

When I tried again to get my same questions answered, Steve wrote me back that their marketplace was not going to be for everybody. He then wrote, “Good bye!”

Good bye, Steve, Community Manager for RelayRides. You had a chance to clarify for me, and you didn’t. You had the chance to retain me as a customer by addressing my concerns, and you didn’t (and you didn’t).

Maybe I should talk to COO Alex Benn. Even if he doesn’t answer my questions either, he should know this is his community manager.

The sharing economy is a work in progress.

In my previous blog post about RelayRides, I said that given this approach, RelayRides has to hope that their drivers are either too lazy to have researched these liability issues OR don’t mind huge amounts of personal and financial risk. Because if anybody really stopped, researched, and cared about some bad potential outcomes, I’m not sure anybody would rent their personal car to friends or strangers.

I remind all of you to dig deeper. The sharing economy is still finding its sea legs. There are lots of legal holes, and in this case, insurance and liability holes. RelayRides isn’t alone in facing these issues. But they are alone in contacting me directly claiming they wanted to clarify things, and then not answering my questions.

Good bye! I asked Steve to please cancel and delete my account yesterday morning.

Remember when Steve apologised for my struggle to get off their mailing lists and said I wouldn’t get another email again?

Yes, that was part of our days of emails back and forth. Yesterday afternoon, I got this!

ScreenHunter_102 Jul. 22 16.21

Test Name is a nice touch, Community Manager Steve. I unsubscribed AGAIN. I figured that I guess I’ll have to log into my account, delete my account, and really get myself off their email lists.

I went to their website. Went to log in. And got this dialogue box:

ScreenHunter_103 Jul. 22 16.22

Wow! Hey, fine by me. But if you cancelled my account and don’t want me back, and you promised you’d stop emailing me, why are you still emailing me? Now you look silly on top of looking very silly.

Good bye!

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Recently, a customer having trouble cancelling his Comcast service recorded the second half of a 20 minute call. He then released this awful and painful call.

Comcast claims to be embarrassed and looking into this terrible experience.

The World Cup is over, Comcast. You can stop writhing on the ground pretending you are injured. That call went exactly how it was supposed to go.

Notice that nobody has said that this was some sort of rogue agent. Most people are posting that they have had similar Comcast experiences. This is par for the course. This isn’t some sole, weird Comcast experience that rarely happens. This call could have been recorded by ANY of us.

I mean jeez, how many times have I blogged about Comcast? A lot. Many were about shitty calls I had to endure to get something simple done. I often needed four or even six calls since getting things done at Comcast also means getting incorrectly billed and then making multiple calls to fix the billing.

I imagine the agents are trained to keep people on the phone as long as possible. Offer them discounts. Try to wear them down. Try to logically disprove their idea that Comcast isn’t for them. It’s not a customer service or customer retention call. It’s a battle. And I bet Comcast employees who win that battle and see unhappy accounts stay are financially rewarded. So the guy on the call had EVERY REASON to handle it how he did. It matches corporate culture and it’s how he makes his money.

Why pretend this call went all wrong when this is what you teach your agents?

This is how Comcast operates. They are probably embarrassed that people are finally using technology to record the call and social media to share the call. I bet we will see many more like this.

Edit/Update: Yeah, what I said.

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I tried MightText what feels like a year or two ago. I didn’t like it and uninstalled. Fast forward to July 2014 and my Facebook friends are raving about MightyText. It’s like if you are not using this, you are a freaking loser. Fine, I’ll try it again.

My first problem was that I ended up in a bad web reload loop in Chrome. I was able to Google the problem, see that it’s a known issue, and navigate the handful of things I had to do to get out of that. I understand that you need a third party domain OK’ed but I would NOT suggest that every Chrome user OK EVERY third party domain! We should just OK yours. Why open Chrome users up to malicious crap just so we can use MightyText?

I ran into another problem. Every few minutes, my Chrome browser would open a new tab with MightyText. I didn’t want that. Not even close. I wanted to only go into MightyText when I wanted. I Googled to try to find the fix to this, and couldn’t find anything about not having it sync automatically (unless it’s paid) nor could I find anything about Chrome tabs randomly opening.

I had enough frustration and decided to uninstall this again. I feel kinda done. The people raving about it, you go and enjoy. I’m not having a problem managing text messages on my rather awesome phone.

Then, MightyText emailed me because I went dormant for a few days

It only took a few days until I got this canned email:

ScreenHunter_98 Jul. 12 11.18

They’d love to hear from me and it’s not a no-reply email, so OK, I’ll tell you what went wrong for me.

ScreenHunter_99 Jul. 12 11.19

What did I think would happen next?

I thought MightyText would want to try to retain me as a customer, and would tell me how to fix that. Even though I’m making it clear that I feel done with them, there’s almost always a chance to save a relationship. Even if they had said HEY here is how you fix that, and if you don’t give us another chance, we understand.

But this is what I got back:

ScreenHunter_100 Jul. 12 11.20

Hmmmm, in the time someone took to reply that, they could have just given me the solution. Instead, the steak is dangling out there, and would I like to get a solution to that? Would I? We will wait until we hear from you that you’d like a solution to that because it wouldn’t make sense for us to be proactively helpful.

It made me comically wonder if every time someone writes in for support, do they write back and say, “Great question. Did you want an answer to that?”

So I replied.

ScreenHunter_101 Jul. 12 11.22

And I got a reply back!

ScreenHunter_102 Jul. 12 11.23

Sorry I didn’t answer your question by asking if you wanted an answer to your question. Because asking if you want a solution IS offering help, and you are not appreciating that! I’m now also sorry that you were frustrated that I didn’t respond to your original problem by asking if you wanted a response to your problem. I’m very sensitive! I know sometimes people just express themselves to be heard and sometimes they want advice. You wouldn’t want to give advice to the person just looking to feel heard. We studied psychology.

I can only say that I would use every uninstall and every comment as an opportunity to do better. If they know about my issue and have a solution, blog about it, FAQ about it, get it somewhere so the next person who Googles will find it. And even when people tell me they are angry or uninstalling (or uninstalled), I always think of them as someone who might come back… so I should just keep giving the best support I can. You uninstalled because of X? Well, here is what to do about X, and we hope you’ll give us another try.

Because word gets around.

I’m always hoping that someone who didn’t like my app and uninstalled it will still think well of our service and care. Perhaps they’ll tell a friend it wasn’t right for them but hey, friend, you should try it. They did try to help me and their support was fast.

You always have a chance to leave a good impression, even on a sale you may have lost. Are you taking those chances or letting them pass you by?

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Near my adopted home of Tucson, AZ, up a mountain at over 8000 feet in altitude sits a shop called The Cookie Cabin. When you make it to Summerhaven, AZ, it’s pretty much the only place to eat. They serve pizza, cookies, ice cream, chili, and that’s nearly it.

I went up there last week, showing my boyfriend the beautiful drive up Catalina Highway into the Santa Catalina Mountains. The time before that, I took a friend up the mountain. We got to The Cookie Cabin around the same time as a van with very well behaved church youth group kids. What appeared to be the owner stepped out to complain to us that the kids were even there.

I didn’t see the owner this time. But we did see that the menu said that we have to tell them if a hot cocoa or hot apple cider is going to be given to kids. Why? Is there alcohol in it? “That would probably make my job much more enjoyable,” snarked the pretty cashier. Ummmmmm… she said it’s because those drinks are wildly hot, and they don’t want kids just chugging them (and being burned). So I guess it’s OK to not warn adults how hot they were? And they were hot. Took like 20 minutes to cool down. Weirdly hot.

It’s not that The Cookie Cabin doesn’t welcome their guests. They are actually pretty mad you’re there.

On a summer day, I don’t know how many people stop by The Cookie Cabin. 80? On a winter day… 15? When we went, it was 40 degrees F with high winds and a forecasted rain storm. Not a great day for a 25 mile drive to a $4 cup of hot chocolate. They’re the only game in town.

And they let you know they’re mad you’re there not just with employee behaviour but with signs. Of course they have the hilarious one about badly behaving kids will be given espresso and a free puppy. But that’s the 14th sign you’ll see here. Get to learn the signs of The Cookie Cabin! Click to enlarge all of them.


Welcome! How many signs can we see already? A whole bunch. Let’s get to know how The Cookie Cabin wants to dictate what we can and can’t do. Starting with parking.


Lord forbid someone should not park correctly in front of The Cookie Cabin! They forgot to say how long and wide your vehicle can be, and how many it should be carrying. It’s hard to say which sign you’ll see next, so let’s tour some more of the outside signs that greet and welcome you.


Period. And I mean PERIOD. I had it put on the sign! If your pet doesn’t meet our standards of calmness, you can freaking GO. We can do this! We’re the only food for 25 miles!


And do us a favour, don’t get comfy. Don’t stay too long. Don’t get caught up using your phone or laptop. This isn’t a library! Eat and LEAVE! I’m surprised there isn’t a sign about how long your conversation with friends or family should last.


Look, we’re open 10 to 5. And we don’t want to stay a MINUTE longer. So we close down our pizza oven a half hour earlier. If you show up at 4:45pm and want our crappy pizza, too bad. The oven is OFF. Sure, we’re open, but we don’t want to cook after 4:30! Have a $4 hot cocoa.


We admit it. We hate children. We hate dogs. We hate people. And most of all, we hate your children. Would you please control your awful offspring? And while you’re at it, check yourself.


OK we understand you may have gotten the impression somewhere before walking into the door that we like dogs. We f***ing hate dogs, OK? This sign is on our DOOR so you really can’t miss it. Get your pets OUT of here.

To the right of the front door are some outside tables. They had snow a week ago, and decided to not shovel that area. So they put up yellow CAUTION tape and a sign.


That’s for our Spanish friends too! Don’t go in here! Sure, we didn’t put any other signs in any other languages, but we REALLY don’t want you to try to walk through a foot of unshoveled snow where there are no tables and it’s a dead end.

Near that is a ramp. Probably not ADA compliant. No clue. Couldn’t get past the CAUTION tape. But just in case, you thought ANYBODY could walk on the ramp, guess f***ing again.


Do you have working legs? The Cookie Cabin doesn’t want you walking on their ramp. Take the stairs, Grandma. Cookie Cabin thinks you look fine.

And thanks for coming to The Cookie Cabin.

No really. Thanks for coming. We appreciate you doing business with the only food on the mountain and within a 25 mile radius. Thanks so much for coming in rather than bringing your own food up and enjoying it at one of the many scenic picnic tables along the drive. We appreciate your business.

Warning: If your business has ANY competition or any chance that someone might choose to NOT go there, and you care about that, don’t try this yourself.

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Lots of companies are in hot water and in the public eye lately, and I think it boils down to one thing: not accurately defining their target customer.

Hobby Lobby (a craft and hobby chain) was recently in the news for not carrying Hanukkah items. And when asked why, people were basically told their CEO is a Christian so their company “doesn’t cater to you people.” People who called up were told that Hanukkah wasn’t on Hobby Lobby’s list of holidays. This was after they got some press for not wanting to cover contraception in their female employees’ health plans thanks to their CEO’s religious views.

Barilla pasta famously put foot in mouth recently when the CEO talked about how his company was for “traditional family values,” and said that LGBT people can “eat other pasta.” When LGBT started eating other pasta, this guy couldn’t backtrack fast enough. Unsuccessfully.

And who can forget Chik-Fil-A, who made their not-gay-friendly stance very clear.

That’s just a few who have made the news in 2013. There are many more!

Decide Who Your Target Audience Is

To me, the most interesting thing about each of these cases is the immediate backtracking. When I am proud of my stance and sure of my stance, I don’t backtrack. If I’m not proud or sure, I’m unlikely to blurt it out as my stance. So what is happening here?

I’d love to see the personas someone drew up for these companies.

If Barilla pasta wants to be the pasta of “traditional family values” and feels that LGBT people should choose other brands, then stick with that. You can decide that your target audience is the heterosexual pasta eater. Run with that. Be proud of that and stick with it.

Hobby Lobby can be the Christian craft store. That could even be their new slogan. Let the Jews, Muslims, and everybody else go to Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics. Hobby Lobby. Your Christian Craft Store, where you won’t find any of “those people” there.

At least Chik-Fil-A barely backtracked. I’ll give them that. They stood by their stance, and barely tried to bother making it look like they’d be cool with the LGBT thing.

And I should mention that I’m rather liberal myself, so if I weren’t gluten free anyway and a non-fast-food-eater, I’d be boycotting some of these places right now.

Don’t forget the definition of discrimination (before you say you don’t discriminate)

Discrimination is the “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.”

If you decide your store or product isn’t for blacks, Jews, gays, lesbians, Muslims, fat people, or any other group, you ARE discriminating. I say if that’s your company’s style, make it official. Bake it into your user personas and everything your company puts out there! That way we all see a wolf even when wearing apologetic sheep’s clothing.

If your target audience is inclusive, then get on the Inclusive Bus and off the Discrimination Tram

If you want your pasta to cater to all pasta eaters, then guess what. That’s all pasta eaters. That might include people of colours, religions, and sexualities that you grew up fearing or disliking. That means you don’t come out publicly and poop on any part of your target audience.

If you are a CEO or high level exec at a company, and you are NOT sure if you should poop on some of your target audience, please go ask your marketing department and PR people. They will be happy to help you not say something before you say it.

PS: All of the above also goes for celebrities and sports figures. You’re welcome.

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Intuit Sends Scary Final Notice

Posted By on Jul 9, 2013

I’m a paying user of Quickbooks. Have been for many years. Upgraded a few years ago to QB Pro 2010 from old QB Pro. Now they’re pushing QB Pro 2013. Not sure what it does differently, so I’m not sure I need it. Heck, I barely use it anymore. I have my bookkeeper put everything in nowadays. I don’t make time!

I got this email. Look out for the scary red capital letters! Click to enlarge:


So what are they really saying here? Actually, look at the last line first. If I’ve upgraded already, disregard this notice. Well, wait. Wouldn’t you have record of me upgrading? Wouldn’t you know that this email address bought and/or activated QB 2013? Did you really send this to EVERYBODY, even people who upgraded?!?!? That’s crappy.

Basically, they’re saying that a bunch of things I don’t use will stop working if I don’t upgrade. Which really just taught me that it’s OK to not upgrade. Everything I need will still work.

It looks like they might refuse to support me, which would be interesting. If I had a problem, would they REALLY not help a paying customer because she didn’t upgrade to the latest (paid) version? I guess they could. But I wonder how many people that drives away.

The bottom line is that the letter doesn’t have to look like this. It almost looks (and reads) like a collections notice. It’s rather heavy handed. Catch flies with honey, Intuit!

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Yesterday’s blog post caused a mini stir among some of my Facebook friends. First, one of them picked on me for being upset at waiting 50 minutes for my rental car… but then spending the day in Disneyland waiting 10-20 minutes per ride.

He was right. Good point. I said it came down to expectations. My expectation was to spend 5 minutes at Hertz since I had a prepaid reservation through Hotwire. I expected to wait at least 30-40 minutes for every Disney ride… so waiting 10-20 felt like a blessing.

Think about what your customers expect and in what time frame.

The same friend then said that he has noticed a difference in the service he receives between when he books directly with a car rental or hotel and when he books through a discount service like Priceline or Hotwire.

I completely agree. Part of my blog post yesterday pointed out that I couldn’t get the high level of service that a Hertz loyalty club member gets (even though I am one) because these outside booking services don’t let Hertz get that information. That would have saved me from kiosk hell, though it still doesn’t excuse Hertz for having kiosk hell in the first place.

Theory: Hertz is giving these discounts through these sites to try to win new customers who will then be brand loyal.

There’s usually only one good reason for a company to give a big discount like a Daily Deal or sell through Hotwire: it’s a loss leader. You hope that if someone pays a tiny bit, someone who isn’t already your customer will discover you, and then become a loyal customer (coming back to pay regular prices).

That’s great if you are sure you will give that person an experience so great that they become brand loyal or want to come back again. In my case, I got an experience that made me want to avoid Hertz. But knowing that Hotwire is at fault too, they lost my biz as well.

Is the savings worth it?

I’m now looking at rental cars for a 4-day trip back to the LA area in August. Dollar is offering around $35/day. Hotwire has $29/day. I went to Hertz, and they had “Book as a Member” and “Book as a Guest.” I chose guest to see how I’m treated. I was shown a car that was $43.50/day BUT if I pay in full up front is $35/day. The FIRST question that went through my head was wondering if pre-paying through Hertz forces me to use a kiosk or if I get to bypass that.

And the fine print for Hertz’ prepayment option had lots of we can do this, we can do that, cancellation fees apply. OR I can book through Dollar, get the SAME rate, the usual great service, and NOT worry about partial refunds or cancellation fees. Which sounds better to you?

To me, the savings isn’t worth it anymore. $6 per day for 4 days, even for a week isn’t enough to experience the hassle I had a few days ago at Hertz. That means I’ll avoid Hotwire and Priceline. I’ll just book at, give them my loyalty club number, and be brand loyal.

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I was in Lowe’s recently having keys copied. I was standing next to a man who was fighting with the girl behind the counter and then insisted on speaking to a manager.

As best as I could understand, he was upset that a certain item was in stock in North Carolina but not at the store where we were (San Bruno, CA). This Lowe’s just didn’t have it, and people kept explaining that to him. He also had three coupons that were not supposed to be used together, and he kept swearing that other Lowe’s have taken his multiple coupons before. The manager said that was wrong, and just because someone else did something wrong didn’t mean he was going to do something wrong.

The man was being somewhat dramatic, and finally said to the manager, “Well, you lost my business.” I expected the man to turn around and leave. But he didn’t. He kept fighting with the manager. And every other sentence was, “You’ve lost my business!” Which quickly lost it’s meaning.

I was an inch from saying something to the man, but I figured I’d say it here. When a store has lost your business, you say that once, and then you leave. If you really don’t intend to be a customer there, then save you and everybody else time, aggravation, and conflict by just leaving. If the people can’t do what you want and the manager can’t do what you want, and you’ve decided that this means you will ever shop there again, then say that once and leave. Stop bickering.

The guy tried to escalate it by saying he was going to make sure other people stopped shopping there too. Nobody cares, sir. Your friends probably know you are overdramatic and create unnecessary conflict, and they will probably keep shopping at Lowe’s. If the manager couldn’t help you the first 200 times you demanded something, and he still couldn’t help you after your 5th announcement that they lost your business, the manager is probably NOT going to be able to suddenly help you because you are now going to tell some friends how bad the San Bruno Lowe’s is.

Which it’s not. I thought everybody was lovely, and dealt with him as best as they could. I thought what he asked for what unreasonable.

If you want to create drama, then you do what he did. If you are serious that a store lost your business, you say that once and you leave.

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Customer Retention… Or Not

Posted By on May 1, 2011

I bought a giant Seagate hard drive to back things up. It came with some backup software called Memeo. Hooray, I’d like to back things up, and here is some software on a free trial. Sure, let’s try it.

Memeo had one fatal flaw. It was unusable. In order to choose what folders you wanted backed up, it was a drag and drop interface. Well, it was a drop interface. No idea from where I was supposed to drag, and I couldn’t just browse and add folders like most backup software. I tried dragging from Windows Explorer. It gave me a NO sign, like no U-turn. Fail.

I contacted customer support, and asked how I can add folders to back up if this is not working. Their response? Uninstall and reinstall. I decided to take half of their advice. I uninstalled. I’ll find some other software that works, and gives me usable, logical ways to add folders.

After uninstalling, you’re pushed to a web page that offers you $10 off on any Memeo product, and asks why you uninstalled. A few things I’d like to say about that.

  1. I’m not taking the time to reinstall, period, and not for $10. If drag and drop didn’t work on a fresh install, why should I think it will work on the same version re-installed?
  2. None of the choices on the “why did you uninstall” was that it didn’t work correctly. I had to choose “other.” Do you really think your product never fails?
  3. $10? I’m worth $10?

I think this is a customer retention failure. How would you retain a customer if you got the chance to save the relationship? To me, step one is better customer service. How about if a customer having trouble never THOUGHT of uninstalling because your support were so helpful.

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