On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as
their first purchase.
Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs
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You think you know, but you don’t….
unless you’ve been
through it yourself.
All the flooding in Texas that
you’re seeing on TV right now is bad. But the worst is yet to
come, and the national media won’t be around for that part.
It’s what happens after the high-drama rescues are over and
the water has receded.
Right now, people are focused on
SAVING lives. Several deaths have already been reported, and
there will be more. But that will be a relatively small number
in proportion to the thousands (maybe millions) of lives
affected by the flood.
The big story is how all these
people will REBUILD their lives.
That will take years,
and every event in their lives will be defined from here on out
as ATF and BTF (“After the Flood” and “Before the Flood”).
There will be an indescribable sense of loneliness and
abandonment after all the cameras are gone.
I know this
because on May 1, 2010, my hometown of Nashville was hit with a
500-year flood. Our home was spared, but my company was
destroyed. We had to replace hundreds of thousands of dollars of
printing presses, mailing equipment (folders, envelope
inserters, etc.), and a black Chevy van that literally floated
Eventually, we got back to normal. But what I
remember most from that horrible time in my life was four very,
very poorly chosen words someone said to me.
park we were in was owned by a large commercial property
developer with over 1600 employees, and I assumed their people
would have been trained on how to deal with natural disasters
While every building was eventually rebuilt
with new drywall, carpet, HVAC, etc., a decision had to be
made about which ones to repair first.
I noticed the building
across from ours was being repaired first and that didn’t seem
right since we’d been there for ten years, and they’d only been
there for about two.
When I protested to the property
manager, she explained that we were “Not a priority” and the
other unit was. Reason: The other unit was a warehouse that
contained merchandise sold at Taylor Swift’s concerts. When
asked why they had priority over us, she responded “Because it’s
(I suspect it also had to do with the fact
we only occupied 2,000 square feet and they occupied about
Apparently, I was wrong in my assumption that
this property management company trained its employees on how to
deal with these situations.
Even if a customer’s
business isn’t that important to you, you NEVER tell one
customer that another customer is more important than they are.
You treat every customer as if they’re the most important one
If you have friends or family who are affected
by Hurricane Harvey and want to help, don’t drive to Houston
with bottled water. (EVERYBODY brings you bottled water when you
get hit by a flood).
Instead, ASK how you can help, and
keep checking in on them after the water recedes. Letting them
know you haven’t forgotten about them after the news media is
gone will mean far more than all the food, clothes, diapers, and
everything else people donate.
And if you have customers
who are affected by this horrific event, train your employees
how to be empathetic toward what they’re going through. I still
remember a call I received from our banker at SunTrust on
5/3/10, who was calling all his business accounts to see if they
were OK. I was covered in Flood Mud and trying to get him off
the phone quickly because 4 of our 5 phone lines were down, but
still appreciate his call to this day.
To be clear, Taylor Swift had no direct involvement with
the warehouse situation. If she did, I’m confident she would
have handled it much better than the CNSR (Customer No Service
Also to be clear, we were about to buy a newer van
anyway, and give the black one to someone in need, as I’ve done
with three other vehicles. So technically, I didn’t lose the
van, but someone else who needed a vehicle did.
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