Never, ever, step outside your own rules/boundaries….
I don’t often blog negatively but we’re away in Cornwall this week, staying in an idyllic house in a place called Polzeath. The family come away every year to the same house which is near a well known hotel called The St Moritz. Today I witnessed a great way to lose customers and wanted to share it with you.
So here’s what happened. There is a party of 10 of us deciding whether to go for a swim over at the hotel. 4 of the girls are getting beauty treatments at the hotel tomorrow so a few of us pop over first and ask if the group can have a discount on the swimming today.
Officially the hotel offer people having treatments 50% discount on the swimming so we’re going to see if they’d be kind enough to extend that to the rest of us. The guy on the reception tells us that everyone can have the discount and so, very happy, we pop back to the house and round up the group. Everyone bounces over to the hotel happy as larry and the girl on reception tells us she’ll get the manager who we had originally spoken to.
The managing director appeared 5 minutes later and in no uncertain words tells us that everyone pays full price and only the people paying for treatments get it half price. He says this without any consideration or thought for what sits in front of him (10 new customers for a start). In fact he goes on to say, ‘you can’t expect me to give the benefit to everyone – I’m afraid the person you spoke to didn’t have authority to say that, I’m the managing director and I say everyone not having treatments pays full price’
So lets dissect this in case you want to use this tactic to lose some of your customers.
- We wanted to use a facility that sits there and costs money whether people are in it or not.
- The whole time we were there we only saw about 10 other people (we were there for at least 2 hours).
- He took about £100 off us instead of £50. I very much doubt we’ll be recommending the hotel or it’s facilities now.
- We could have gone back there everyday this week for all he knew – at a fiver per person, per day that would have been some good business for him.
- He was unwilling to budge from the rules he’d laid down.
- In this social, sharing world, it was pretty easy for me to write this and share it to thousands of people
Now some of you might be saying – but what if others found out, would that cause him a problem? Maybe, and if that was really going to be an issue I think the way the situation was dealt with could have been better even if the outcome wasn’t the one we’d all wanted. Communication is everything in business – your customers are your new marketing.
If you’re wondering how I would have approached the situation – here’s how: I would have told us that the first guy had made a small mistake but that on this occasion I was willing to stick by it. I might have made a little joke about not telling anyone and I’d have had 10 happy customers without a bad taste in their mouths and returning every year.
Now Your Thoughts
- What fantastic strategies have you found for losing customers?
- Do you have a different view on this? Was the guy right for sticking to his own rules?