Customer retention: why SKY does not care?

I was a sky customer for the past 7 years. In fact I still am. I am a customer for their all-in-one package (satellite Television (including premium sports channels), land-line phone and broadband internet). Altogether I pay about £80 a month.

I was paying £80 a month for the past 7 years. I’ve moved to a new home about 6 months ago and haven taken sky with me. Ever since I moved home, my internet connection started becoming poor. During evenings, it was intermittently losing connections. I’ve tried fixing the issue by calling sky helpline several times and they gave several options and none of them worked for me.

Finally I decided to switch from regular broadband to “fibre” broadband. It costs about £15 more per month, but promises almost 10 times the speed of regular broadband. I researched about the providers of “fibre” broadband in my area, and there are 4 providers. BT, Plusnet, EE and Sky.

Wow! I thought it was great to know that SKY provide fibre broadband service. I like being a loyal customer. I thought sticking to one company always help. I did enquire about it during one of my numerous calls with them. Yes, they do and it would cost £20 a month and £50 installation charge. £20 a month is fine, but the £50 installation charge irked me and I thought of shopping around.

The best deal I got from was Plusnet and they offered me the fibre broadband for £20 a month but for 6 months half-price and NO installation charge. This sounded good, but I did not want to leave Sky. I thought I would rather stay with them and request if they could match it. Sure they would! I have been their customer for 7 years and always paid on time and on direct debit. They should definitely want to keep hold of me. Well. That’s what I thought.

To my surprise, they were not interested. I spoke to 3 different people at different times. Their answer was “well. I am sorry, we cannot match it. Good luck to you with your new provider”. The worst part is they did not even make an attempt to keep hold of me as a customer. There was no remorse that they were about to lose a customer of 7 years to a rival. They did not even make an attempt to find a way to accommodate me.

Don’t get me wrong. Sky’s customer care people were nice and helpful. But is just being nice and helpful good enough? Should they not try to “retain” existing customers? Sky spends so much to win new customers. I can see their adverts everywhere. They try all sorts of tricks to get customers switch from their rivals. Surely retaining existing customers must be a top priority. It seems not.

As a business owner it irritates me that that SKY customer care team were not trained well enough on customer retention. They are trained to be nice and helpful. But none of them seemed to be trained to wear a “sales” hat. If every employee wears a “sales” hat on their job, it would become very simple to build a successful and long lasting organization. May be “Sky” is already big and successful and they no longer need to worry about building an organization.
In a small and growing business like us customer retention is very important. We train every one of our employees on how to “retain” existing customers. We insist on keeping the existing customer happy. All our people know that retaining customer is even more important than acquiring a new customer.

There is no point in acquiring new customers if you are losing existing customers in a funnel. Marketing expert Cornelia leuthi of TheLeakyBathTub.com says that it is 7 times more expensive to find a new customer than to retain an existing customer.

I wish sky listens…

Rajesh Velayuthasamy

I am Rajesh Velayuthasamy (Raj), the co-founder of Handdy.com. I understand the struggles, issues, and the immense pleasures of starting a new business. I would like to share my insights and views on this blog.

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