"They were one of our best customers," Felicia told me. "We'd worked with them for years and had a great relationship. This was a huge loss for us." What happened?
Felicia's service team had made the serious mistake of taking this valued customer for granted. Though her staff had at one time maintained regular contact with Jeff's department, they had let their attentiveness lapse as they focused attention on other matters. They hadn't stayed in touch, as had been their habit, and they'd stopped checking in periodically to see if anything needed attention. No need, they mistakenly concluded, since everything was going well, and Jeff would surely let them know if there were any problems. That, as it turned out, was a mistaken assumption.
When Jeff concluded that he needed to lower costs, he contacted outside vendors to evaluate their service and pricing options. No longer being treated as special by Felicia's group, he never bothered to contact them about offering a competitive bid. So Felicia's team never had the opportunity to compete for the business they already had. The first they knew of the division's concerns was when Jeff announced that he was taking his business elsewhere.
Beware the absence of bad news. What it signifies may be other than you think.