Are You Treating Ex-Customers Better Than Current Customers?

Are You Treating Ex-Customers Better Than Current Customers

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my negative experience with Cox–and my intent to switch to AT&T Uverse. Well, I’ve been an ex-Cox customer for about a week now, and so far so good.

I get about a thousand channels, tons of cool phone features, and lightening-speed internet. I no longer have to start an audiobook download before I go to bed and hope for the best. And calls to my client in Canada no longer cost an additional $1 per minute. I did lose my access to San Diego Padres games (Cox still has exclusive television rights), but I can live with that.

I should be pretty happy, right? Actually, I’m incensed. Why? Cox is now treating me–GASP–better than ever! 

The proof:

1. When I was a long-term customer I and told them I was considering switching providers, I was told that I would have to return my Cox DVR to one of their local stores within 10 days–or else.

Now that I’m an ex-customer, they called to tell me that they’d be delighted to come to my house to pick up the DVR. Their rep arrived within 15 minutes.

2. When I was a customer, Cox demanded that I pay an additional monthly fee plus a per minute charge to call Canada.

Now, Cox would be happy to give me a monthly rebate to cover this fee–and more.

3. When I was a customer, my monthly bill slowly crept up.

But now that I’m an ex-customer, they are willing to give me a 50% discount for 6 months!

That does it. It ticks me off when companies treat ex-customers better than current customers. It’s a financial blunder of epic proportions. I am certain that if Cox had calculated my lifetime value, they would have made me a reasonable offer during that first phone call. And they wouldn’t have to promise me the world to re-acquire my business.

This experience simply reinforced an imperative marketing truth:

If you treat your current customers right, they’ll never be your ex-customers.