I attended some sales training in Florida, USA. Jeffrey Gitomer made an interesting point about loyal customers vs satisfied customers. Naturally those sitting in the audience concurred that the goal as to have satisfied customers. Jeffrey quickly cleared any confusion when he asked "Would you rather have a satisfied or loyal spouse?"

During the course of this week, I got my internet service provider (ISP) to upgrade my connection from ADSL to VDSL. For those of you who have followed my blog and tweets, you will know that I have a love/hate relationship with my current provider

One of the things that interests me is that whenever I want to change to a new plan, it would seem that my ISP requires me to commit to a fixed term contract of 12 months. Termination of contract results in a $199.00 penalty fee.

The upgrade from ADSL to VDSL was a nightmare as my ISP blamed all in sundry for their lack of ability to meet their promises. Failure to meet a promise amounts to a 'broken promise'.

This got me thinking about that $199.00 termination fee. Based on a customer's loyalty, it is a bit of an insult after 10 years to charge termination fees. I'm convinced that having to charge termination fees is an indication of a businesses lack of ability maintain customer loyalty. There is truth in Jeffrey's message, while my satisfaction with ISP's customer service doesn't rank very highly, I've still been loyal. Why? I'm not convinced that other providers would be too different.