Customer Loyalty

Do you think companies reward long time customers for their loyalty or are they more interest in gaining new ones ?

I remember growing up my parents always shopped at the same grocery store, got our meat from the same butcher, gassed up their car at the same station, banked at the same bank, had the same doctor and dentist and on and on and on.  They always said it was good to show loyalty to a business and in return they would provide good service to you.  Relationship were important to them.  So through the years I have always tried to do the same thing.

While living in Fort McMurray for close to 20 years we established and maintained good relations with different business that we frequent. Unfortunately,  those seem to be the smaller family run businesses not the big corporations.  We have one particular company that when we look at it hasn't really done anything to maintain us but we have stayed with them because we like the service they offered.  We have been Bell Canada Satellite subscribers for close to 15 years and as of next week that relationship will come to an end.

We have never really had any issues with Bell and have found their general customer service/help desk to be average.  I do remember having one run- in while in Fort McMurray and Faruq was so angry he cancelled the service.  But when we moved to Calgary I convinced him to go back to them.  I have always loved the "time shifting" feature they offer.  We made the decision a few months ago to put the cable "on-hold" to see if we really needed it.  I originally felt we didn't but we have since decided to get at least basic cable back.

Because we have been with Bell for so long all of our receivers really needed to be update with maybe the exception of one. Faruq called Bell to see what if any kind of deal they would make him on 3 new receivers and he was told "NO DEAL OF ANY KIND" period end of story.  To be clear he was not asking for anything free but possibility some kind of discount to show that they did appreciate their long time customers. So Faruq told them to cancel our service and we would being shopping the other cable providers. They really don't have a clue though because before the conversation ended the guy actually asked Faruq why we were leaving Bell....Seriously !

We have our phone/Internet service through Shaw and we continually get calls from their sales people trying to get our cable as well.  But in this case I'm the "new customer "at least in regards to the cable portion so they are making very enticing offers to get our business.  In our relationship I have always been the "Fluff" person so if it is new and shiny I like it but Faruq is the "Nuts and Bolts" guy so he has to analyze everything to death to see if it's a good deal.  All I was seeing was lovely new HD PVR's and I was game.  :}

In the end  Faruq concluded we are getting a great deal from Shaw so they arrive next Monday to switch us over to their service.  Maybe I shouldn't be so hung on this but I feel like I'm breaking up with a trusted and loyal friend.   Faruq just laughs when I say that and says when the new PVR's are installed I will become fast BBF's with them.

But in all seriousness ....Do you think business are more committed to gaining new or retaining old customers ?  I feel a good company should have a balance between the two but clearly that doesn't appear to be happening with some big corporations (at least IMO) !

Bye Bell Canada it's been fun for the last 15 years !!

ETA : I asked Faruq if he was interested in trying Telus and I quote "Even if they offered it for free I would not take it" so I guess that's a no.  We had really terrible customer service (at a pretty high level) with them when we were moving from Fort McMurray so that's how we ended up with the Shaw Digital phone.  It really does make sense for it all to be in one spot and we are saving quite a bit a month while getting all new receivers.

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Kris said...

Bell worked with us the last time our contract was up but I asked for the loyalty department and then to a manager. But even then was it a great deal..... no. But easier than switching.

With the new house I think we might try Telus Optic. It's new and has it's issues but it doesn't hurt to try it out for a bit. Plus you'd get a discount with Faruqs company.

Mellott Family said...

Definitely believe that they are more willing to do things for new customers. We just switched to Telus and I love it, I can't believe I spent so many years with Shaw Direct (formerly Starchoice, different then Shaw) I am so happy we made the switch!