Posts Tagged ‘lessons learned’

Sitting in India, we have the luxury of having someone to drive our car, having someone else to wash our car (manually) daily, etc. I have been enjoying these privileges too.
I have had a separate person who cleans the car and another one who drives me around. Recently, we got a new driver, who after having spent a few weeks with us, suggested on his own, that he can also wash the car, and can he do that please? Thinking to be one of the very trivial decisions, I agreed. And got a message sent out to current car washer, that he should stop washing the car from 1st of March.
He earns what I consider, a very small sum of money, for washing my car daily. And I did not even think about this, when I decided to make the change, to have the car washed by the driver.
However, come the first Sunday of March, and the car washer sought the opportunity of my presence at home, and came up to see me. I thought he may be wanting to settle his account. But I was surprised.
He made a fervent plea to me, to allow him to continue to wash the car. He asked me if I had any complaints of his washing. And if not, why do I want to deprive him, of his earnings of me? Also that based on a certain regular flow of income, he has his expenditure planned out, and losing one, will affect him. In short, he appealed to me, at all levels.
And ultimately, I saw reason in his argument, and decided to let him continue the service.
I could have insisted to change, and he would have not been able to insist further, but he made a strong case, and wanted to get his point across. He spent a good 15-20 minutes, making his case, and ensuring that the opportunity of having an audience with me, was well utilized. And he retained me.
I thought about this, as a lesson in customer retention. In present tough times, when our clients are changing vendors to save costs, or for other reasons, are we trying half as hard, to keep their business? Because for the car washer, it impacted his life directly, he was more concerned. In a corporate environment, the loss of a single client does not necessarily translate immediately, or at least apparently, to a personal loss. Does that make us a little complacent about letting the business go without putting up an adequate fight??
Think about it..

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