In my last two blog posts, I had given notice that I was moving my company web-site, then gave notice that I wasn’t. I didn’t end up achieving the final step due to issues with customer service.
I was moving the web-site based on a recommendation from my webmaster that I could save money on the hosting of my web-site and get about the same service. And, in fact, he had had many good experiences with the hosting service he was recommending. Yet, after all the backup of files, copying of files, calling one host then the other, what would have been the new host couldn’t find my record. Even though I had paid for the service, begun the registration process and all the other forms that were required, they couldn’t find my record. In fact, the support person I ended up in contact with actually had no idea how to resolve the situation and, in the end, I said I was giving up and asking for a refund (which I still haven’t received, so, yes, I paid for the service that I won’t be using).
I don’t regret trying this, especially since my current host ended up offering me a good discount to stay with them, In the end, I did get something out of it. However, it occurred to me that this is one of the reasons customers won’t switch.
Along the way, those of us providing services run into customers who are getting terrible service, can’t get their projects finished, and are generally having a terrible time. In some cases, they’re traumatized by the terrible situation that they’re in. Yet, when you tell them how much better you could do for them and suggest they switch, they refuse to make a move. Often, they’ll say things like, “But, at least I know what I have.” Even though we might think or even know that it probably can’t possibly be any worse than what they’re going through, there’s no way to convince them. They’re truly afraid of the fact that it could actually be worse and they won’t make the switch. Fear prevents them.
In fact, I remember speaking with a customer who told me that they knew their project wouldn’t provide anything useful and wouldn’t finish, but they were still afraid to switch services vendors. Think of that – if you knew you were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and would get nothing out of it, and that you would have to probably answer to your users and management over this, would you still dig your heels in and keep what you have? Well, hard as it might be to understand it, you might. Fear is a powerful tool.