Lack of Communication Loses Clients

For several years I have used a home delivery service for bottled water. The service used to be like clockwork – every Wednesday rain or shine. The delivery driver knew my pattern and would leave 1 or 2 cases. I knew exactly what day they would stop because the pre-printed envelope had each date listed in an easy-to-use table for marking returned bottles and purchased bottles.

Three months ago they suddenly changed their services. Without any notice I am now charged $1 more each visit for “service charges” (aka increased fuel costs). I would have been charged another $1 more each visit for a paper statement. Since I was willing to provide my email for an online statement, that $1 was waived.

In addition to the potential 40% increase in cost, a month ago they changed my delivery day without telling me. No notice, no conversation, no email. My delivery driver left a new envelope (and no water) on the day he showed up. That was how I was told I had a new delivery day.

The fun part of this story – they changed my delivery day again and still did not communicate with me. I found out when I phoned the company because I couldn’t open the statement they emailed me this week.

Today I informed them that I am evaluating alternatives to their service. After all, it isn’t service when it costs more and is inconvenient.

Have you changed processes lately? Did you think about the impact on your clients BEFORE you made the changes? Have you implemented policies that make your life easier and possibly disrupt your clients’ lives?

Avoid the mistake this company made and evaluate what you’re doing from your customer’s viewpoint. It’s amazing what a little change of perspective might teach you.

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