This week, I found a great example of good marketing and customer relations: my landlord.
Given the uncertain housing market situation in 2006, my wife and I decided to rent, rather than buy. We just renewed our rental contract for another year (the third).
During the negotiation around price, I gently pointed out to our landlord that we had been staying for some two years now and that there never was a problem with us as tenants. I asked him whether that was worth a discount on the price that he was asking for. He gave me 2%. I felt great about it, and we closed the deal.
This is very interesting and I took some time to think it through.
Let’s suppose you have the choice. You can either let a house to somebody whom you don’t know, or to somebody of whom you know that they are not trouble-makers and take 2% less.
Which would you choose? Given that we all know that 5% of customers usually cause 95% of the work, this is a no-brainer.
Overall, I feel delighted that my landlord has given me a small discount. It creates a small bond between us. Particularly in such troubled times (as far as the housing market is concerned).
Imagine companies gave discounts to long term customers who have behaved well and who haven’t caused problems. When was the last time your telephone, cell phone, gas, electricity, satellite, or any other company that you subscribe to has mailed you out of the blue and said: “We will lower your bills, because you have been a good customer?”
In my opinion, they should surprise you with it. And it would be great marketing indeed.
PS: Picture taken from: http://peter-hurley.com/thankyou.aspx