Today I got a new mobile phone. I found the phone and a good deal online, and spoke to my current supplier to see if they could match that deal, to save me the hassle of moving to another network and for them to keep a customer. They couldn’t, so I left them and moved.
However, the issue wasn’t whether they could financially meet the better deal, it was whether they were willing to communicate and offer something extra to make me want to stay with them. If they’d have come back with a less financially attractive deal but had given me excellent customer service throughout the last few years that I’ve been with them (they haven’t), I’d have been less likely to move. Or if they had an ‘added extra’ to their contracts or consideration for long-term loyalty (they didn’t), again, I’d have been slower to make the decision to drop them without looking back!
As smaller businesses, you may find yourself less able to compete financially against bigger players in your industry. But if you go that extra mile to offer your customers second-to-none service, a small bonus for loyalty or real value for their money, they’ll be happier to stay with you and pay a little extra, rather than giving their hard earned cash to a faceless giant.