Who’s Mad at You?

I’m mad at our water company. It got me thinking … who’s mad at you? But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.

Our New Water Dispenser

Our office was pretty excited to get a new filtered water dispenser in the break room. OK, “pretty excited” is a stretch, but I was pretty excited to upgrade from the typical bottled water to an inline filtration system. The new system provides cleaner and better-tasting water for our team, and at a predictable fixed cost that is significantly lower than our regular deliveries of bottled water. Everyone wins!

First up: We installed the new water dispenser with the inline filtration system. No problems there. Here’s what it looks like…

Water Dispenser

You can see the water lines coming out of the wall. A few of our teammates joked that the water is now being delivered by Ethernet! Digital water, who would have guessed?!?

Next item to do: Call the current water delivery service and cancel future delivery. Calls like that can be awkward, but the call happened with no problems. They said they’ll come out and pick up the dispenser and extra jugs.

Finally: The original water service arrived to pick up the dispenser and jugs. No real problems there … until they see the new dispenser. The delivery guy, using a tone of voice that’s a mix of hurt and angry, says, “You know, we could have provided this too, and we have a discount for existing customers.”

I’m Mad

It took a few minutes to hit me, but I ended up getting kinda mad at the original water company. I faintly remembered them saying early on if we ever increased our water consumption to a certain level, they’d have a more economical option for us. In other words, they could provide us with the same water filter we just installed. At a discount.

I’m mad for two reasons. First, I didn’t really like the salesperson for the new water dispenser. It wasn’t that big a deal, but his personality just didn’t click with mine. I would have much rather given my business to the original vendor.

Second, and this is the biggie for me, I’m mad that the original water company didn’t see this coming. They have access to all the relevant data. Why didn’t they ever notice our water consumption had increased to x gallons a month, and that x gallons would have been the perfect time to suggest an alternative that would have saved us money … and kept us on-board with them as a customer?

The Challenge

Take a close look at your interactions with your customers. Take a close look at the data your customers are generating. Are you paying attention to your customers’ buying habits? Are there signs you need to notice before your customers take their business elsewhere? What can you do to make sure they keep buying printing from you?