It would appear that to many businesses, once a customer has shown some loyalty, don’t bother throwing the odd bone to keep them interested. They clearly think they won’t go anywhere.

Today I cancelled a long-term relationship I had with a motor vehicle breakdown company. Had they done anything wrong in the ten years I has been with them? Not really. Had they priced themselves out of the market? Not sure, I just used to let the renewal roll on through.

So why did I call time? I was going to say it was all down to customer experience but when I gave it further thought – it was engagement too. Micah Solomon who wrote the article I’m referencing says ‘Like someone in love, the loyal customer only has eyes for you’. Well, this particular brand had stopped taking me out to dinner, showering me with compliments and making life easy for me. I felt taken for granted!

Here’s what happened. When I change my cars, which can be quite random, I would open their app or go online and change the details so my cover flips to the latest car. Simple? You would think so, but because I also had cover for the cost of parts - I have to call them. Yes, actually make a phone call. What’s wrong with that? I hear you ask. Nothing if you don’t have to endure the dull recorded message that tells me nothing I want to hear, followed by lots of equally dull options I need to choose between.

Like many consumers, I want to converse with brands the way I want to – that’s part of the reason we spend so much of our income on communication tools and access to data networks and the world wide web. Don’t force me down one channel because you can’t be bothered to provide a decent CX.

I did call them today and eventually got through to a human – I announced I wanted to cancel and explained why. I was told I hadn’t able to change my car details online because I have parts cover and there are a few terms they need to inform me about. Uh? I said that could all be done online or via the app. I do my personal tax returns and all my business taxes online – never having to speak to a soul and no terms and conditions need to be read out to me on the phone.

So, that’s it – I’m off to pastures new.

Could the outcome had been different? Yes, if over the years I had been sent information in the format I wanted and if it was of interest to me. They had enough data about me to make me feel appreciated as a loyal customer.

Here’s a few words to remember –

Customer – loyalty – omnichannel – engagement – experience – complacency – social media – digital transformation