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Keeping The Customer You Already Have.

Sometimes companies are so focused on getting new customers, that they forget to work at keeping the customers they already have. Never is this more apparent than when they make it difficult for an existing customer to stay with them, than for a new customer to join. Digicel has created just such a scenario with their broadband service bundles.

I am (or perhaps I should say was) a broadband subscriber with a mobile 'MiFi' modem. This modem was stolen and when I reported it, Digicel suspended the service. I was pleasantly surprised when I received a bill with no outstanding amount due. Kudos to Digicel for that. When I finally go around to replacing the modem, all goodwill got undone.

The Digicel Broadband website quotes the price of the 'MiFi' modem at just over $5,000. However, when I went to replace the modem I was told that I had to pay almost $10,000. I inquired about the reason for the difference, and was told that the lower price was for new customers only. Upon further inquiry, I discovered that I could terminate my existing account, start a new one, and benefit from the lower price point. While starting a new account requires a deposit, my initial deposit is refundable. So I can save myself $5,000 by cancelling my existing account, and starting another.

Cancelling my account and starting another is another ordeal in itself, and I may not get my deposit refunded immediately. In the meantime, they have lost my subscription revenue as I have no device with which to use the service. Why not just sell me the replacement modem at the lower cost, instead of having me jump through hoops? The months of service I have missed would have paid for the device twice already.

While it is important to grow one's business by securing new customers to add to your revenue stream, it often takes less work to keep existing revenue streams and this should not be overlooked.

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