Goldmine Software Corp. doesn't have to take back product bought by a retailer, but odds are they will. If customers demand weekend delivery of a shipment--even at GoldMine's expense--better listen for your doorbell Saturday morning.
"Words like `It's not our policy' or `I can't help you' are words we avoid here," explains Jon Ferrara, executive vice president and co-founder of the 80-person contact management software company in Pacific Palisades, California. "We do our best to empower the people who are touching the customer to resolve issues to the customer's satisfaction."
Behind Ferrara's client coddling is a goal to never lose a GoldMine customer to a competitor. "It's expensive to lose a customer," Ferrara explains. "And it costs a lot more to get a new customer than to keep [an old one]."
Ferrara's focus on controlling customer defections is right on, according to proponents of a management concept called "zero defections." Not only is it cheaper to keep existing customers, but longtime clients buy more, pay higher prices and are more loyal, says Allan Magrath, author of How to Achieve Zero-Defect Marketing (Amacom).
"Retaining customers," Magrath says, "is a fantastic way to make a lot of money and grow."