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I have long retained one leftover from my time living in Sydney: membership in the NRMA. When my household acquired another vehicle recently, I contacted the NRMA -- hey, I'm a customer! -- to make sure that the vehicle was added to my account so that I would still receive roadside assistance if I ever found myself in a tight spot. The operator I spoke to informed me that I would need a new membership specific to that vehicle, effectively doubling my payments. When I queried this policy and pointed out that a membership in South Australia's RAA would cover me regardless of which vehicle I was in, the operator suggested that maybe I should just cancel my NRMA membership seeing as I lived in South Australia anyway.
I was gobsmacked.
"Let me get this straight. I've been with you for over ten years, a regular paying customer, and you're saying... maybe I should just swap to another provider?"
The operator replied with some indifference that I might as well. I replied that if the NRMA didn't care if I remained a customer or not, I didn't care to.
Here are some things I might also have pointed out if I thought that the operator cared:
- It costs far less to retain an existing client than to acquire a new one.
- It's at least twice as expensive to bring on a new customer with an existing service than it is to retain a customer with that service. A business that loses one good customer has to sign up two more just to break even.
- Current customers are any business's best source of referrals and cross-sell opportunities.
But I didn't. So I didn't.
Suffice to say that I am now an RAA member :)
If anyone from the NRMA is happens to read this, you need to talk to your customer service representatives... they're not helping your organisation!