Saying “Bon Voyage” to Your Customers


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As service professionals, we all understand the commitment and effort needed to acquire new and retain our existing customers. But what about the customer who has decided to leave? What do we typically do for them?

In his book It’s Your Ship, Michael Abrashoff talked about how important it was to give a warm send off and thank you for Navy personnel who served under him but opted not to re-enlist. On other ships in the fleet, these people typically just packed their gear and left. But the author went out of his way to make sure a full-scale recognition of their contributions and duty to their country was provided to his staff.

Why did he do this? Simple! He wanted to make sure the servicemen/women under his command left with a positive impression of their tour of duty, knowing that if he did these people would speak positively to others about their experience in the service, which in turn, might inspire someone else to enlist.

The same holds true with our customers.

We recently received a very nice email from a customer who had contact our support team to cancel her service. Her business was shutting down and as a result she no longer needed our service. In the email, the customer expressed her gratitude for the service provided by our support associate who closed the account. The customer went out of her way to tell us that the rep was courteous, efficient, handled her cancellation cheerfully, and even went above and beyond to help the customer download critical information out of our system and get a refund for the unused balance on her account!

At the end of her email, she let us know how much she enjoyed using our service and would “definitely recommend your company to business owners who I know could benefit from using your service.”

We put so much effort into “on-boarding” a new customer, maybe it’s time to start thinking about how you “off-board” customer when they leave. Give them the proper send-off and they can still act as your “good will ambassador!”

With twenty-plus years working in a variety of contact center roles, Larry now heads up the award winning Customer Support team at Constant Contact, the leader in online marketing tools for small businesses. Insuring the 1.2 million calls, chats, and emails his staff handle each year with nothing less than an “awe-inspiring” experience is Larry’s passion. With a keen eye for recognizing service triumphs and failures, Larry loves to shares his experiences on his blog,

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Douglas Hanna
Douglas Hanna is the CEO of A Small Orange, a high-end web hosting company that prides itself on quality customer service. In addition to his role at A Small Orange, Douglas founded and writes for Service Untitled, a popular blog on customer service and the customer service experience.


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