My wife has been a paying member of a national massage chain for years. Honestly, it’s never been a great relationship, but the service was just barely good enough to keep coming back and paying the monthly fee.

Over the past few months she’s determined that the value just isn’t there any longer. The services were no longer justified the price they were charging. She made the decision to cancel the service. In order to cancel the service she had to physically go to their location.

Upon arriving at the location they were very polite until she indicated she wanted to cancel service. They didn’t get mean or anything, but the desire to provide good customer service declined rapidly. They made a half hearted attempt to keep the business, but it was clear that it wasn’t going to happen.

Their process to cancel was to fill out a two sided paper form that had to be mailed to their corporate office which would take 10 days to process. Of course, the billing period for her account hit at day 9 so there would be one further month that would have to be paid.

It was a frustrating experience, and in thinking about the relationship over the duration there were plenty of other similar situations where it was clear that they didn’t prioritize making things easy. They wanted you to always sort of be in the dark about what was going on. They had a credit system that was fairly easy to understand, but  it wasn’t anywhere as clear as it could be. You weren’t able to see your credits on their online system where you scheduled your appointments. Scheduling services seemed straightforward enough, but frequently there would be last minute cancellations which caused issues and further frustration. Ultimately, they really didn’t EVER want to make doing business with them easy.

They made the decision to cancel easy, even if the process wasn’t.

Think about how you treat your clients. Is doing business with you easy? How do you communicate around onboarding? Do your clients know what to expect, and when to expect it? When you run into glitches do you keep them apprised of what you found? Do you speak to them at their level and leave the high end geek speak behind? What does your service offering look like to them? Are you meeting their needs? How do you treat your clients when they want to leave? Where do you confuse your clients?

You must make doing business with you EASY! Little frustrations along the way make the decision to shop for a different provider a simple one. Treat your clients well on the way in, treat them well while they’re there, and treat them well on the way out.

By Adam

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