The Goodbye Is Just As Important As The Hello In Customer Service

Cat-waving-hi-X36R5H4OCE[1]We love our customers and we love it when customers stay a part of our company for a long time. They rely on us and we rely on them.

There comes a time when a customer needs to leave the service, either for a situation that happened within the company or for reasons beyond their control. You can also think about this from the retail perspective–the customer has to walk in the door and they also have to walk out and leave through the door.

We focus so much on reeling the customer into our service in the first place–welcoming them and creating a positive first impression. But, what about when they leave?

The goodbye is just as important as the hello. 

What is your cancellation policy? Can you customer close their account without a fight? Can you help them quietly close the door on their way out rather than encouraging them to slam it shut out of frustration?

What is your exit route experience in your store? Can a customer easily make their way to the door, with employees genuinely thanking them for their business, as they leave?

The most important part to remember here is that you want to leave a lasting impression on them as they go. Yes, no one likes to lose a customer. Customers remember this experience though–it becomes the most recent memory of your company to them. And, in the future, should they ever desire a service like the one you provide, they are more likely to look your way again if the experience leaving had been positive.

Turn that “goodbye” turn into “hello” rather than into “goodbye forever”.

The most recent example of a negative exit experience is shared by journalist Ryan Block when he called into customer support for Comcast, intending to cancel his service and was given quite a difficult time. If you haven’t listened to this, click here.

What do you think?

Perhaps it’s time to revisit your exit strategy to leave lasting, positive impressions on the customer and make sure we’re all on the same path to enhancing the customer experience, no matter what.

[custom_author=jenny]

Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. She has worked at tech startups since 2005. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's a certified health coach, but not the kind that forces you to only eat cardboard and deprive yourself of ice cream. JennyDempseyWellness.com, the company she started, was designed to bring a new type of wellness into the workplace, one that gives you permission to look deeper into yourself, rather than just on the healthy snacks in the break room. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. She's also a Hanson fan for life.

2 comments

  • Because I develop strong ties with my customers, saying goodbye is challenging for me under any circumstance and I agree Jenny, most of us should re-examine our exit strategy and focus on saying “see you soon” as opposed to “goodbye”…See you soon creates an attitude of being temporary as opposed to saying goodbye which implies forever. If a client wants to cancel your service or contract or end your relationship, you need to make it easy for the client to say goodbye if we ever expect to see them back again. As always, great post.

    • Jenny Dempsey

      “See You Soon, Customer” instead of “Goodbye”–love it! It totally changes the attitude, as you said. We’re on to something here! Thanks for checking out the post, Doug!

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