As was posted in a recent article, I sent my objections to NC’s anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2 (HB2) to my elected representatives in the NC General Assembly with copy to leadership of both parties in the House and Senate. Today, I was published in the Raleigh News & Observer as a Letter to the Editor, taking on HB2 from a business perspective; that being client retention as an integral part of business development. Comments issued by two of the state’s “most powerful” legislators, Nelson Dollar (R-Cary) and House Speaker Pro Tempore Paul ‘Skip’ Stam (R-Apex), demonstrated little understanding of the importance of customer retention in building the business base of their own state. Discrimination can adversely affect business, as North Carolina’s governor and legislature are realizing with cancelled concerts, business expansion plans, conventions and more. The text of the letter follows.
In your April 12 news article “Visitors bureau: HB2 hits region’s economy,” two of “the most powerful” state legislators, Reps. Nelson Dollar and Paul Stam, are cited as saying that if some customers back out of doing business in North Carolina that the state simply finds other customers.
Speaking from the perspective of having built a business in this state and having participated in the growth of a publicly held state business as a corporate officer, I think such flippant and irresponsible remarks demonstrate a blatant ignorance of business development and violate two fundamental rules.
First, central to business development is customer retention; one is looking to grow client base and get return business from existing customers. Let there be no doubt that North Carolina is a business looking to attract and keep customers. It is far more expensive to find new customers than market to existing ones.
Second, if a customer goes elsewhere based on a bad experience, one may never see that customer again. And word from just one dissatisfied customer travels fast and far as our governor and legislators have witnessed.
So much for the N.C. Republican Party touting itself as being the business-friendly party.