Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Life Cycle Of A Customer

The First Stage
You've done the work before. You know it's not rocket science. You know that anybody can do it. So you hire the cheapest person. And that's all you care about right now. Because you think everyone is the same. The only difference is price.

The Second Stage
You've grown sick of your current housecleaner. You wonder if you've hired the wrong person. You still recognize that the work isn't rocket science. But you're really getting sick and tired of waiting and waiting on the maid to arrive. Not to mention the lack of consistency in her work. So you decide to hire another maid. You just picked the wrong one the first time.

The Third Stage
Ok, now this isn't funny anymore. How can you keep hiring the same old maid every time? This maid shows up late too. This maid keeps getting worse and worse over time. And this maid isn't much different than your last maid. So you reach a fork in the road.

The Fork In The Road
This is the place where you decide to either pay a little more for your housecleaning, or just go back to doing the work yourself. Some of you don't have the time. Some of you don't have the physical capabilities. And then some of you just don't want to do it any longer. For you, the choice is obvious. You're not going to do the work. You're going to hire someone dependable.

The Fourth Stage
You've already hired the cheap, individual maid. And you've discovered that getting your house cleaned has little to do with housecleaning. You've got to worry about punctuality. You've got to worry about dependability. You've got to worry about consistency. And you've got to worry about professionalism. So you hire a professional cleaning company.

So you start calling all the professionals. And you start hearing lots of great things. Things like we'll send the same person every time. Things like we'll guarantee our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Sounds good to you. So you hire the cheapest cleaning company you can find. Because they all sound the same.

The Fifth Stage
Are you kidding me? You're still waiting on the maid to arrive. You're still complaining about the same mistakes. You're getting different people all the time. And now you're paying more than ever. You're wondering if anyone does this thing right. Do you live with the mistakes? Or do you try to find yet another maid service company?

The Final Stage
This is the only stage where we want to earn your business. We don't want you anywhere else. We don't want your business anywhere else because you think housecleaning is about dusting and vacuuming. You think housecleaning is easy. You think anybody can do it. After all, you've been doing it all your life. And quite good if you must say so...

This is the stage where our pay for performance plan sounds good. This is the stage where our commitment to customer feedback sounds good. This is the stage where our guaranteed on-time arrival sounds good. This is the stage where you decide that you get what you pay for. And this is the only stage that will make you appreciate us as a business.

If you hire us anywhere else in the life cycle, you're just going to think we're too expensive. Because you're going to think anybody can do it. And more than likely, you're going to fire us down the road.

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