Thursday, June 30, 2005

How not to "end" a customer relationship

As you may have read, I had to downsize a bit on my car, moving from my beloved Audi A4 to a very nice Saturn ION-2 sedan.

The Saturn experience was fraught with sturm und drang, the highs and low, depair and euphoria.

Meanwhile my Audi customer experience ended with a whimper.

See I didn't think I could afford to lease a new Audi, but when I called the financing guy to ask a question about the lease closing out he asked, asked I tell you whether I didn't want to lease a new Audi. I gushed that of course I did but I didn't think that I could get deal that fit into my budget.

He offered, offered I tell you to check it out and asked me what I was looking to pay. I told him my monthly target. He understandably blanched (I could hear him blanch over the phone even.) I asked if $100 more amonth would get me in the ballpark.

He said he'd work up some numbers and call me back and took my cell phone number.

And he never called me back.

I'm sure the numbers just weren't going to come out. But he could have called and told me he tried, and he hoped I'd return to Audi when my business had gotten a little bigger.

See, whereas before I was assuming that when my business does get a little bigger I would return to Audi in a I'm not so sure. Now, they'll be just one more car I consider.

Sort of like any relationship...don't blow your customer off at the very end if you want them to consider returning to you. The blowing off leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

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