Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dear web hoster


Haven’t I been a good customer? Haven’t I always paid my bills and never asked any really demanding questions? Haven’t I been using your service for over 10 years now as well as bringing all my clients along as well? But guess what? I’ve finally realized that I’ve been stupid. I’ve allowed you to take me for granted, take my money and provide nothing above the basics in return. Now that I’ve finally woken up to this fact guess what? I’m outta here.

If you look at any business, it probably makes 80% of its money from 20% of its customers. Typically these 20% simply pay their accounts every month and continue to buy product from you, but what do you do for them? In all the years I’ve been with my ISP I think they have contacted me once about upgrading the plans that I was on and that was because they wanted me to shift to a new server. Was that better for me? Nope, it was better for them. What was in it for me? Nothing except extra expense. Now I maybe dumb but I ain’t stupid. Why should I pay more and get nothing additional? Give me a break. Is this how you treat me after all these of good patronage?

How many relationships in business (and life) do we take for granted? Too many I’ll bet. We simply assume they’ll always be there and thus, we never need to do anything to maintain them. Problem is that overtime, left unattended like a garden, the weeds start to grow. The relationship starts to decay as the parties drift apart. Now the bonds that maintain that relationship become weaker and weaker until even the smallest change the landscape causes them to break. The smallest enticement is enough for the customer to switch.

Clearly my current web hoster really doesn’t care if I’m a customer, even after all these years. Even though I maybe small fry I feel totally taken for granted. Even as I scaled back my investment with the web hoster I have still not received any queries as to whether there were any problems or something additional that could be done to retain my business. So rather than be continually ignored I’m taking all my business elsewhere. Worse still, I’m going to tell everyone that I’ve done that. That can’t be good for the web hoster’s business now can it?

It doesn’t take much to maintain a strong relationship but like a garden it still needs to be tended. It needs to have the occasional weed removed. If not, then that lack of focus soon becomes obvious and it’s generally down hill from there.

If you don’t know which customers in you business contribute the most to your profitability then you should. Once you do look after them and fire the 80% who continually cause you grief. The impact of losing a good customer is going to far higher and typically you won’t realize it until it is too late. Even if your car is running well you take in for service don’t you? If you aren’t doing that with your best customers now, like me, it is only a matter of time before they are someone else’s clients.