Have you ever referred a customer somewhere else because you knew they could get a better deal? Sounds crazy, but makes good business sense and will help you improve customer loyalty in the long run.

I conducted full-day workshops on “Achieving Superior Service” in two cities in the Middle East.

The organizer in one city charged a lower fee than the organizer in another. There were differences in the date, location, meals and materials provided, but the workshop content was the same.

Each organizer sent out their own brochure to their own client mailing lists. It happened that several clients in one city signed up for the higher priced event in the other city.

Before accepting these enrollments, the organizer personally called the affected clients to inform them of the lower priced and more conveniently located option. This honest gesture did amazing things to improve customer loyalty.

The organizer “lost” 12 enrollments (almost $5,000), but gained a new level of credibility and respect from his clients, his industry colleagues (competitors), and from me. It was simply a brilliant stroke to improve customer loyalty.

“This is one phone call I will never forget,” said one surprised client. “I will be their customer forever.”

Key Learning Points

If you can help a customer more by sending them to someone else, don’t focus on the short-term sale. Take a longer-term view to improve customer loyalty. Your honesty will be remembered and appreciated.

Action Steps

The next time your client wants something they could easily get better or cheaper somewhere else, don’t hide it – provide it! The short-term impact may be loss of a single sale, but the long-term result will be increased respect and credibility for you because you took the step to improve customer loyalty. This is something money just can’t buy and it can pay you back in rewards that last a lifetime as your customer shares the story with others.

News Reporter