Greetings. I seem to recall a country music song by Tanya Tucker from the early 1990's with the lyrics "It's a little too late to do the right thing now." A song about a less than perfect relationship. Which is, not too surprisingly, the topic of many country music songs. And these words came to mind recently when we decided to finally change internet providers.
Now I realize we could have had faster and cheaper service at almost any time, but our connectivity was alright and with way more pressing things on our plates and a sense of loyalty that I must have inherited from my parents, we slogged along for several years with our buddies at Earthlink–using their service, paying our bills on time and being modestly content if not inspired.
And for some odd reason I expected a giant "THANK YOU" from Earthlink when we finally called to cancel our service…
- "Thank you for being a customer so long when we failed to offer you the most competitive product."
- "Thank you for leaving us alone and never calling us with a problem."
- "Thank you for tolerating the slow speed of our service, compared to our competitors, and not complaining even when we never called or emailed to offer you faster speed."
- "Thank you for letting us charge you a relatively high price, compared to our competitors, and not complaining when we never called or emailed to offer you a better price."
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
But, to quote a classic Motown song by The Temptations, which reached the top of the Billboard charts back in 1971, "It was just my imagination, running away with me."
In fact, when we made our fateful call, we were told that changing providers would be difficult and fraught with challenges…and that Earthlink would be glad to offer us a lower price, faster speed and several free months of service. That they would do almost anything to improve a relationship that had gone bad.
Which got me wondering how many companies and organizations take their customers for granted. Offering them tolerable service at a relatively high price when they could treat them a whole lot better. And hoping that they will continue to come along for the ride. Until the customer finally realizes that "it's a little too late to do the right thing now."
So now we're stuck with another provider, faster service and a lower cost. And it's not my imagination.
We win in business and in life when we never ignore those we have the privilege to serve. And when we always say thank you.