Yahoo Locks In Email Customers

We wrote about frictionless organizations several weeks ago. Frictionless firms are the ones that remove unnecessary hassle and complication from their interactions with clients and other businesses.

Yahoo thrust itself into the opposite category this week when it stopped allowing people to forward their Yahoo email address to another address. Accounts already set up for forwarding kept that capability, but no new Yahoo email forwarding accounts can be created.

This seems like an overreaction to the disclosure of a major hacking attack on Yahoo and the subsequent doubt over the company’s acquisition by Verizon. Rather than let prized email subscribers flee to the competition, Yahoo is locking them in.

That’s the worst possible reaction to crisis. Customers of any type–even those on free plans–should be nurtured without restriction. They stay if you care for them well. They leave if you don’t.  They leave for other reasons too, but locking an unwilling party into any deal can create a horrible relationship between business and client and bad word-of-mouth for the sake of a relatively small amount of incremental revenue.

We don’t have contract lengths. Every single client–even retainer clients–have a 30 day opt out clause. The 30 days is only to give both companies time to disentangle and transition work.

Take a look at your policies regarding customers especially during adverse times. Are you easy to do business with and as frictionless as possible? And how easy is it to stop working together once a client creates an emotional break with your organization?

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Header photo by Chaz McGregor.  Other images are thumbnails from content on newsworthy websites and serve as links under the provisions of fair use.

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