Jerry Seinfeld, in his totally great appearance in Curb Your Enthusiasm last season, mentioned how annoyed he was with how everyone is saying “having said that” as a way to negate what they just said. Larry David put it in the context of a stand up comedian, saying “You people are a bunch of morons. Having said that, I’m very happy to be here.”
So why is it I hear this idea come up again and again when people within an organization are defending their customers’ experiences?
“I know our customers are frustrated with the time it takes to reply to their requests. Having said that, I can’t dedicate more resources to that issue right now.”
Now, just for fun, let’s put this in the terms of new sales. The conversation is different, and I bet you can’t see someone saying this.
“I know our prospects want us to close the deal. Having said that, I can’t dedicate more resources to that issue right now.”
It would never happen.
Why, again and again, do organizations sacrifice the experience of their current customers for the sake of new ones? Some of this is mindset. If they’re already a customer, we have them! But the fact is that now, more than ever before, customers do have the power to switch. The bank Ally has done a great job showing the absurd nature of treating new customers better than the ones who are loyal to you. Their commercials show how kids react when they are treated differently for no reason.
So take a quick mental review of how you treat your old, tried and true, loyal customers. Are you doing enough to make them feel special? Are you treating prospects and new customers better? Time to rethink.