I just switched to a new veterinarian after a decade at the same clinic. When I asked for my records, they made copies and simply said: “Here you go.”

I have had four dogs in their care and have spent thousands of dollars on visits, tests, medicine, and doggie daycare. Yet never was there any attempt to understand why I am leaving or to suggest that I don’t.

I also just closed an account at a bank where my Mom had maintained a checking account for probably two decades or more. Even when I talked with the customer service rep about closing the account, no one tried to persuade me to stay with the institution.

I can understand the desire not to hassle consumers when they are leaving you, but businesses are losing an opportunity to learn something from the customers that know them best. Why not ask the simple question of “what could we have done better?” You would be getting feedback from customers who have enough experience with you to answer it and are in a position where they may be inclined to be candid.

It’s bad enough to lose a customer, but it is even a bigger shame to lose one without gaining insight in return. Don’t let your customers and all their knowledge just walk out the door.


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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