Discontinued Service

I was watching the Food Network the other night (as I am known to do) and they were doing a story on how things were made. Now, I don’t usually name companies on here, but I heard a story about the dish-maker Corelle which I thought was a great idea.

Corelle is known for not only their sturdy nature, but also their clever and funky patterns. Each year they roll out a new pattern to the market place. Just like any other business, Corelle is trying to keep up with the changing wants and needs of consumers. Our tastes change and what was in fashion three years ago wouldn’t fit in the modern, stainless-steel kitchens we have today. (Remember the yellow kitchens of the 70’s? I don’t… but we did buy a house my mother and I promptly redecorated.) Now, even though new patterns make new buyers happy, what happens to the consumer who picked their pattern and now needs to replace or add a plate? Enter the Croelle Discontinued Pattern Customer Center . It’s a special site that Corelle set up for customers who still need to get pieces for their discontinued patterns. To me, this is incredible customer service.

Why? Because this is a company that can identify industry trends and move along, without alienating a customer that has been loyal to them for a number of years. It’s a good balance of attracting new customers as well as remaining loyal to people who may have been in line to pick up the first pattern that ever rolled down the Corelle lines. In business, we are constantly trying to identify the trends of our industries and keep up with what might be popular. What suggestions do you have for embracing change without having to rebuild your entire customer base? How can you grow as well as stay honest to your base customer?