I recently had an encounter with a business that left me scratching my head. I made a suggestion to the business that would benefit the both of us in the long-term. It was a revenue cost neutral (or at most a minor cost to the business) suggestion. However, in the long-term it would more than made up for any short-term losses. In other words, the business would win. Inexplicably, they declined my suggestion without any valid reason. The equivalent of “because I don’t want to.”

I understand we are free to engage in or not engage in business transactions with anyone we choose, however, when something will benefit a customer and it doesn’t cost the business more money (or they will make up the difference in the long-term) the business should do it!

It is too hard to acquire and keep good customers for them to effectively eliminate any further business relationship because they don’t feel like it!

I can understand stopping future business if we were expensive customers that cost them more money than we paid, but this is nowhere near the case. We pay our bill on time and make reasonable and normal demands on their service. By all accounts it is a profitable relationship now and would have been in the future.  The suggestion would have actually benefited the business in the long-term.  They would have made more money!

The saying “A bird in the hand, is worth two in bushel,” applies here. Acquiring customers costs money, they better be certain (which there is no way they could be) that the customers they now have to acquire because of losing us will more than make up for the lost revenues.

They made a foolish decision in the short-term and now it is going to cost them.

There are customers who are expensive. They pay very little and demand a lot. Those customers should be eliminated regularly. A business needs to have a profitable relationship with their customers to survive otherwise they won’t be in business very long.

The answer is fairly simple, improve relationships with customers who are profitable and try to help customers who are not profitable find a relationship with a business that better suits their needs.  Everyone wins.

So what can’t you afford?

You can’t afford to sacrifice long-term gains for short-term profits.

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