Win the Sale, Lose the Customer!

fotolia_16530802_XS-359x300I’m prompted to write this short piece as a result of my sons experience at a hotel on Orkney mainland.

He is on a diving course from Monday to Thursday and has booked into a local hotel for four nights (Sun – Wed). Whilst on the course one of the other students asked where he was staying and on being told he was booked in a hotel said “no, mate cancel the hotel and stay with me”. He lived nearby and had his own house.

My son was chuffed to bits at the chance to save a bit of money and not to have to spend the evenings on his own.

I’m sure you can guess what comes next…

On approaching the hotel they said that as the room was booked for the four nights that was binding and they could not accept the cancellation.

My son wasn’t happy and his new friend wasn’t impressed. So that’s that.

But this is more than bad customer service. This is bad business.

Sure the hotel has kept the sale, but they’ve lost the customer. No way will my son stay there again, or us. And. What of the people that my son, his new friend, and other people on the course that they will inevitable relate the tale to?

It amazes me how short sighted some businesses can be.

I experience this in my web design business. From time to time people choose to change their web designer, it happens, its life. Sometimes though (thankfully rarely) when people come to me from another design company the old company can be really obstructive, anything from just being slow to send material to blatantly holding the client to ransom with things such as their domain name.

I always think, “you know, I hope that this new client will stay with me forever, but if they don’t they sure won’t be coming back to you”!

It’s just bad business. Don’t do it!