Be nice on the way out
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about being fired, and ideally leaving the job with the same amount of respect you had for the whole experience.
How are you handling those who leave you?
Let's say you're self-employed. If people unsubscribe from your newsletter or stop following you on twitter, I understand you won't be able to catch up with every single one and have a quick exit interview. "What could I have done better? Was it something I said? Either way - best of luck to you!"
Even when you write an email to someone who decided not to go for your quote and ask them for feedback, they may not respond. Fair enough, people are busy. I'd still give it a try though, because a) it shows you care without being pushy, and b) you never know when you might get a live one who does respond.
How have you been treated when you wanted to leave?
I love Friends, and there's an episode where Chandler tries to quit the gym. He brings Ross for support, and he ends up joining, too. In the end, they try to quit the bank. (4-minute video below. Funny.)
While I think that approach is a bit much and pushy, I don't like the complete opposite either.
Renting an Apartment
It's amazing to me how the same leasing agent can be all sweetness and light to get you into her building, and show a truly ugly mean side once you want to move out. After renting an apartment for 3 years, never missing a payment, handing in our notice at a previous place was one of the rudest exchanges imaginable. I still remember it almost 4 years later.
Quitting the Gym
I quit my gym today and was completely dismissed. I was handed a form in silence, and as soon as I signed it, the lady turned around and left me without a word. I shouted after her if I could get a copy? She said there'd probably be an email or something. That's it. No chit-chat, no friendly banter, no thank you for staying with us for so long - nothing.
Now, maybe my preferences for Feeling make me a little more sensitive to interpersonal interactions. And maybe it all makes sense since we're in the States, and time is money. Leasing agents and gym ladies' time is better spent on people who'll bring money in. I get that.
But what about the after-taste? Do you think I will recommend these places to my friends? Do you think I'll have a good vibe thinking about them? Or do you think I'll be writing a slightly passive-aggressive blog post, not revealing any names, but seriously urging you, if you have a leasing office or a gym, to TRAIN YOUR STAFF to be courteous AT ALL TIMES?
Be nice on your way out, and to people on their ways out. Show us that customer service isn't dead, and that you're not really just after out money. Because guess what, when we have a great experience, we write about that, too.