Blogs & Comment

Customer relationship killers

Picture this: You hire a contractor to gut your kitchen. He tells you the job will take three to four weeks. It takes him twice as long to finish 95% of the project. (I know this is kind of an industry standard, but that’s not an excuse in my book). You suck it up, because his team does good work. A few days later, he sends you an e-mail saying your final payment is more than 30 days late, and you need to pay up now or he’ll put a lien on your house. (Apparently, he used his first estimate on the completion date as the invoice date.)
As you can guess, this happened to my fianc and me. Boy, did this piss off my better half. She fired back a curt e-mail pointing out that the renovation wasn’t even 100% complete. He apologized and said his accountant made him send the e-mail, which went to many of his clients. That wasn’t good enough for my partner. She no longer wants to hire the contractor for our washroom and 3rd floor renovations, as we had planned. As a result, this guy just lost about 50 grand of business.
Anyway, this experience got me thinking. Plenty of companies talk to their loyal and occasional consumers, but how many spend time with people they’ve lost forever? The way I see it, businesses should maintain a list of “customer relationship killers” and track their progress towards eliminating them. I bet it would have a noticeable impact on sales.