I have never understood why corporations punish their most loyal/best customers. I was reminded of my confusion on this issue by this post on Patrick Lamb’s blog. While Patrick is talking about credit cards and how law firms charge their ‘best’ customers, the exact same statements can be applied to customers of legal publishers, online and print.
Unfortunately, this statement from the post sums it up:
Give your new customers better rates and keep milking your loyal customers for all you can get.
This has been the legal publishing model for quite some time, and resetting the dial on pricing is very difficult (as so many of you already know). Why don’t these companies cultivate and reward their best customers? I’ve got some ideas, how about lower increases or no increases after x-number of years or a no-cost add on of new content or free print (I could go on and on here).
Why are firms essentially punished for being long-term customers? This is really simple math, firms cannot sustain yearly increases on a base price for 10 to 15 to 20 years. Flash forward to current day and their pricing is completely out-of -whack with current models.
However, there is ZERO incentive for the ‘robber barons’ of legal publishing to make any changes and they know it…they just keep on chugging. This reminds me of the Little Engine that Could, except in this example there is no top to the mountain of money.