Un-customers for Life

I am re-reading Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers, by Seth Godin, published in 2000, and a ground breaking marketing book.
While reading, I kept thinking of the fragility of customer relationships, and that while we all like to have “customers for life”, we can easily create “un-customers for life”. Society and technology keep offering more and more options. It is not good enough to have that customer as a raving fan; we must be aware that the raving could quickly stop if we do not maintain a high level of service. There are just too many options and alternatives. One false step and the customer could be gone for good.
Taking the customer’s point of view, I have declared myself a non-customer for life a number of times: a vendor I recommend, who does not treat my customer fairly or r who does not live up to his/her promises seldom gets a second chance with me. Looking back at my past relationships as a customer, I often can’t remember a precise reason why I became an un-customer for life, so the event obviously doesn’t have to be earth shaking. I don’t go to Burger King. I don’t remember what event caused me to scratch them off my list of fast food places. I just know something happened at some time in the past that caused me to never go back.

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Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.