Last month I noticed I still was paying for an account there. I had subscribed for real accounts for all of the email solutions I reviewed. OK, I thought, here was Aweber’s chance to impress me with their customer service andwin me back.
So I emailed them to cancel the account, all well and good….
Then a few days ago, to my surprise I got another bill. So I email them back and point out that I had asked to cancel the account last month:
“Last month when I got this bill, I replied and asked that my account be
cancelled. Please do so and refund this charge.”
I quickly get an email back from AWeber:
“We keep detailed records of all contact that we have with
customers. Inside your account I do not see a request
provided for cancellation. I can certainly cancel this
account now for you but I will not be able to refund the
charge that was due on the 15th of January. Please respond
if you would like this account canceled as of today and I
will be able to complete that for you”
AWeber has made some key mistakes here, and not only lost a customer for ever, but also have had the bad experience spread. This is based in some pretty solid research (though for the life of me I can’t find the original source).
- 96% of dissatisfied customers do not complain directly.
- 90% will not return.
- One unhappy customer will tell nine others.
- 13% will tell at least 20 other people
Now in todays world of blogs, the phenomenon is magnified. A great read that I recommend is Blog Marketing by Jeremy Wright. Its full wisdom on how blogs can be both benificial and detrimental for your business. I especially liked the part about Kryptonite’s woeful response when it was discovered that one could open one of their high end locks with a ball point pen!
Compare that to a response I got from Sproutit, a hosted group email solution:
You are right. We should be a little more proactive about warning you of overages and giving options. Unfortunately our billing system is not that sophisticated yet but we are working on it.
Would it help if I credited you account the $34.85 of overage charges? That would be almost 2 months of free Mailroom at your current level.
Big difference, don’t you think?
Anyway, I digress.
The value of the refund was 20 bucks. In pursuing a customer unfriendly policy (that being the assumption that I the customer was wrong and my email was at fault and not theirs) they caused by to be dissatisfied, and then of course, the observations about telling other people kick into effect.
As I was searching through my email for the one I had sent to AWeber, I actually came across one that I had sent out to the Joomlashack team back in November (this is absolutely true!):
If ever you are dealing with a customer and you make a decision that costs Joomlashack dollars but results in a happier customer, that’s OK. Don’t be afraid of making decisions like that 🙂 .
Conclusion? The customer isn’t always right, but how you treat your customer can have big implications for the invisible marketing that is continuously happening. Oh yeah, and come see what people are saying about Joomlashack…