Usually, a business doesn’t want to lose a customer. The customer is the one who is purchasing goods and bringing in income.
Your employees are paid because someone is spending money in your organization. Your salary is paid for because of said customers.
You don’t want to lose their business. But are you doing things that are encouraging your customers to leave?
You might be and not even realize it.
How A Burger Joint Almost Lost My Business Over $10
All I wanted was my birthday burger. The one the restaurant had sent me an email about.
My wife and I were seated at a nice table. I inquired about what was included with the birthday meal.
The waitress informed of which hamburgers would be free. Then she remembered something.
Away she dashed, behind the counter and began chatting with a manager.
Minutes later, she returned with bad new:. Our internet is down. We can’t check your card
Our internet is down. We can’t check your card or scan your coupon. The birthday burger program is run by a different company. We can’t comp your bill. We can’t give you the burger we promised.
You can come back later in the month and use the coupon then. When our system is back up and running properly.
My reaction: So, there’s nothing you can? I have to come back to redeem the offer another time? You can’t comp the burger? You can’t reduce the price of the other items we purchased? We have to come back?
Restaurant’s response: That’s correct. You will have to come back to use the offer even though there’s only a couple of days left in the month.
After my experience, I overheard other customers asking the same question. They received the same response. You could tell they were frustrated.
I understand things happen. Problems arise. The thing is, we have to be willing to deal with the issues as they arise.
It was not the customer’s fault that the business’ internet was down. It wasn’t the customer’s fault that the promotion was run by an outside company. It was not the customer’s fault the restaurant didn’t want to honor the birthday special.
The lack of action by the restaurant manager made me not want to return.
The Saving Grace
After finishing our dinner, the restaurant manager stopped by again. This time she had a different answer.
They could honor the promotion for the free burger. There was a workaround and they were willing to do it.
Is $10 Worth Losing A Customer?
Some businesses seem to think that $10 is too great a price to pay to keep a customer happy. Especially when it’s not the customer’s fault.
Instead, they are willing to send the customer on their way.
Unhappy. Frustrated. Angry.
They’re willing to lose out on the customer’s purchase over a $10 discount.
Ten dollars is a small price to pay for the continued patronage of a customer. Especially when you consider the lifetime value.
According to a study on Swipely, here’s what you can expect from an average restaurant customer:
Restaurants can expect a loyal customer to buy 1.7 times per month.The average number of years a loyal customer will visit a restaurant is 2.7 years.
The average number of years a loyal customer will visit a restaurant is 2.7 years.
A typical dissatisfied customer will tell 8-10 people. Those people will tell 5 more people. That means up to 60 people could be affected by just 1 bad customer experience.
Depending upon where your customer is at in their lifespan, you could lose upwards of $2200 by making them upset. Not only that, there’s the business that will be lost by word of mouth.
These numbers tell a story. That $10 you don’t want to credit for a promotion could cost you quite a bit of money.
Make Wise Business Choices
I’m not sure why the restaurant manager didn’t want to originally credit me the amount of the hamburger I’d purchased. In the end, it was a bad business decision that could have cost the business a lot of money.
You may not be in the restaurant business. You may be in retail or the non-profit realm or in the coaching business.
Whatever business you’re in, you have to be aware of the value of your customer and what you’re willing to lose them over.
Are you willing to lose a customer over $10? Are you willing to lose a customer over $100 or $1,000?
The number at which you say no to a customer has to make sense to you and their lifetime value.