So right now I’m both happy/upset with Apple. Both feelings make me ponder something about cutting your losses.
I’m upset because they pushed back the shipping date on my new MacBook. Now I probably won’t get it until the 5th at the earliest and the 15th at the latest. I’m betting on the 15th. That will have given Thomas almost a full 3 weeks of “neener-neener” time with his new MacBook Pro.
I’m happy with Apple because when I pointed out that we paid extra for faster shipping so I’d get my computer sooner, they knocked off $50. They’re smart enough to figure out that they’d rather absorb $50 (like they can’t afford it) than lose an order altogether.
Doesn’t this seem like a smart business practice? Lose a few bucks but maintain the customer’s happiness and future ordering?
I think it’s very interesting that Apple, a company that really can afford to lose one little order of one MacBook, realizes that a $50 loss is better than a $1500 loss (and the loss of a repeat customer). Recently, the owner of a local veterinary clinic wasn’t willing to cut his losses – and why? He lost a client – a whole client, and now probably everyone that client talks to – over the exact same figure: $50. Granted, this company doesn’t bring in billions of dollars of revenue a year. But let’s see what would have happened if this local businessman had cut his losses:
This client had been bringing his dog to this clinic since it was a puppy. The dog is now 5 years old. The first year of care for a puppy that starts at 6 weeks of age is about $200, including vaccines and neutering. For every year after that, yearly vaccines are about $100 a year, this figure including flea/heartworm prevention. So far, the client had invested at least $600 in his dog at this company. The dog is a small one, so it will probably live at least another 6 years. That’s another $600, at least. So for the life of this animal, the clinic would have brought in at least $1200. And this is ONE pet. What about the next one? What about when they get another dog before this one goes? What about a cat? What about their daughters’ animals, and her brother-in law’s? Over the years the figures compound.
But now they won’t, not for this clinic anyway. That’s at the VERY least $600 that this clinic will not get. It’s at the VERY least $600 that will go to its competitor. All for a measley dispute over $50.
Small business owners can learn a lot from multi-billion dollar corporations like Apple. The question is, when the figures are smaller and it’s time to buy another car/house/horse, will they pay attention?