Are customers being punished for loyalty?

RankAs a business owner, it’s all too often that I notice companies losing touch with their customers. Unfortunately I was on the receiving end of this recently with Addison Lee, a taxi company I have been loyal to for around seven years.

When I first started using Addison Lee, its prices were competitive and its innovative use of technology made it stand out in the market. However, over the past six months I have noticed prices creeping up and benefits disappearing. A recent monthly bill had increased by £70, thanks to the addition of a £40 admin fee and substantial price increases (e.g. 10 minute journey from Kennington to South Kensington cost £17).

As a priority account holder with a monthly bill, it would have been easy for these increases to go unnoticed, and I wonder how many other customers are being charged more without realising it. Being a loyal customer with a premium account, I would expect to be rewarded with lower prices – but thanks to new admin fees and higher rates for account holders, it seems I am actually paying more for my loyalty.

It’s something that is all too common with big successful businesses – they add more management layers and begin to lose touch with their customers – the thing that made them successful in the first place. It seems that once the company has secured a customer’s loyalty, they stop taking care of them.

Unfortunately while Addison Lee have become complacent, they have opened up a space for a new competitor. I recently tried Hailo, an app for hailing nearby taxis, and was very impressed with its innovative technology. Not to mention that the cost of my 10 minute Kennington to South Kensington journey was half the price at £8.80.

Addison Lee have made the mistake that many companies have made before them – they have taken their existing customers for granted and lost touch with their needs. Companies need to realise that in a tough industry, loyal customers want to be rewarded or they will seek out other options – namely, their competitors.

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Anthony Karibian is CEO of bOnline. Find Anthony on Google here or follow bOnline on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn,

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