So much of our routine business is conducted on autopilot, not because our current providers are necessarily excellent rather because it is too much of a hassle to change them. Think about your health insurance, car/home insurance, banking, phone network, cable, internet, doctors, subscriptions, software, retirement savings or investments – most likely they are with the same institutions you have been using for years. We often allow things to renew automatically without further investigation because of the time it takes to do something else.

While we don’t have the bandwidth to research every decision or spend the time canceling and adding every time a service comes up for renewal, it is likely worth the effort to make some conscious decisions to do so on occasion. It’s also worth considering the long-term cost when you choose any on-going provider, whether that be a subscription or service professional. It may be tempting to jump at the low-cost introductory offer but remember they are counting on you to continue when the discount expires because you don’t want to take the time to wait in their customer service queue to cancel.

But if you are the provider and not just the consumer, allow the “it’s-hard-to-change” principle to work in your favor. Make your initial encounter enticing enough to get the consumer started on an automatic renewal program and enhance your chances that they’ll stick with you for the long term.

That first step has disproportionate value for everyone.

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