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How Much Will Your Customers Tolerate Before Leaving? P

How Calluses Prevent Blisters

 

I played golf with a friend last week. At the end of our round, he had blisters on his hands. He didn’t play very often, even through his gloves his golf clubs rubbed his skin raw.

My hands were just fine. Fortunate I get to play several times a month and over time I’ve built up calluses that prevent those nasty blisters.  It’s simple. The more you play, the thicker your calluses get.  It’s your calluses that immunize you against getting the blisters and experiencing the pain.

 

Do Your Calluses Help You Accept Poor Service?

 

Later, while sitting at my desk I was thinking about the pain and discomfort my friend had from playing golf.  I had just gotten off the phone with him and he complained about the service he had received from a local car dealer’s service department.

During our conversation, I asked him why he willingly put up with bad service.  Especially service that was inconvenient and had placed friction in his relationship with the auto dealer.

Thinking about his pain, I diagnosed it as an experiential callus.  In your relationship there may be a little pain, but you get used to it and put up with it.  In certain situations, for certain products, it’s just easier to deal with the pain than switch to a different company.

 

Do Our Calluses Keep You From Changing?

 

A great example is banking, switching banks isn’t easy and can take your time and effort. You may tolerate the friction because you just don’t want to use valuable time for such a mundane task.  Changing banks could be painful.

So, you might tolerate a certain amount of pain in the form of poor service or friction and live with it until it becomes so bad you feel forced to switch.  Is your customer experience costing you money? 

 

Is Your Business a Sticky Business?

 

The type of business that keeps customers by making it difficult to leave is known as a sticky business.  They’re sticky, because it’s not easy to change.  It may take a lot of time and effort.  It may be painful to switch.  Does your customer experience build brand loyalty?

I once met a software executive who admitted that his company didn’t have to provide the best support, just adequate support for their product.  He knew it was difficult for his customers to learn a new software program, so he felt that he could keep his customers by expending the minimum effort.

That attitude may work in the short term.  However, eventually, a competitor will recognize the opportunity to gain a new customer.

 

Do Your Calluses Guarantee Poor Service?

 

Richard Branson started Virgin Air because he didn’t like the way big airlines treated him as a customer.  He said they were taking the mickey out on the customer.  That’s British slang, and roughly translated it means having a joke at the customer’s expense.

Branson recognized that the big airlines were not giving their customers the value that they were paying for.  Airline passengers had built up their tolerance in the form of an experiential callus to how all of the the airlines treated them.  When they realized they had a better choice – many of them began flying Virgin Air.

 

Don’t Let Your Callouses Prevent Change

 

It’s difficult to change when you’re used to something, even if you experience a little pain and know there might be a better alternative. That callus gets pretty thick.  

Trust me; there are many Richard Branson-types out there.  They’re just looking for opportunities to capitalize on your experiential callus and introduce your customers to a better experience.  Are you building strong customer relationships?  Or are you willing to get by, doing only enough to hold your customer.

 

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