When a Loss is a Win

The statement when a loss is a win sounds contradictory, but perhaps losses are not always what we think.

Customer Relations

Recently I purchased a home improvement product that I needed to install. When I tried to install it there appeared to be something wrong with it, so I returned it for another of the same model. I also could not get that one to install properly. As a result, I returned it and got another brand that worked perfectly and was easy to install. Now, it could well be that I was doing something wrong on the first two efforts, but I was working directly from the instructions. Regardless, the point I want to make is this. The store did not hesitate to accept the two returns. They may have taken a loss of the returns, but in the long run they kept a long-time customer happy. Not only might they have lost money on the products, it also cost them time and labor to handle the transactions. Yet, because they retained me as a customer this is a case when a loss is a win. The future benefit of keeping a customer far outweighed any short-term and relatively small loss.

Customer Education

The situation above has another element. When I made the second return I explained to the salesperson the difficulty I was having with the installations. The sales person took the time to suggest another model and then recommend some additional things to help prevent the problem. She spent quite a while discussing it with me. Her time added nothing to the value of the sale except a small supply, but it sure added an element of customer loyalty. The company lost money on her time with no upsell resulting, but it was worth it.

Learning and Improvement

Each time we take a loss we have the opportunity to examine the cause. When we do this we usually learn something of value. What we learn not only helps us avoid a similar loss in the future, but it also helps us consider opportunities to improve.

How do you deal with loss at your company? Is it viewed as all bad or are you able to use it to improve? Do you understand the concept of when a loss is a win?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


Leave a Reply

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner