Is the Customer Always Right?
We have all heard this expression before, “the customer is always right”. Well, contrary to popular belief, I don’t think so. In fact most times THE CUSTOMER IS USUALLY WRONG! But here is the thing most people forget, THE CUSTOMER IS IN CHARGE. When you say no to a customer you can plan on also saying goodbye to their business also. Customers are people too, and they want to feel special, important and treated with respect. In todays times it is hard to get exceptional service, or for that fact to even being treated nicely.
We spend so much too on advertising, promotion and marketing so we can get customers to notice us, or our products and services. Then in so many instances we treat them poorly when they do decide to spend money with our company. This is wrong and we still do nothing about it. Ninety to ninety seven percent of our business is good business, with reasonable people who want just to be taken care of or getting what they expect.
But what about that two to three percent of our customers that just plain suck! You know those whiny, non-stop complaining customers that have nothing else better to do than trying to ruin our days. These are the same people who talk down to us, are abusive in their language, yell, scream, and basically treat us like dirt. SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO HERE!
Remember the Little Rascals with Spanky, Alfalfa, and Buckwheat. They used to have a gesture where they put their hand under their chin and waved it towards the other person. This was called “the high sign”. In other words it was meant to say so long, goodbye, get outta here, etc. We should thank them for a concept we can still use in the business world 60 years later, but we are sometimes afraid to do it. Yes, you heard me correctly, give “the high sign” to those lousy customers, move on and concentrate on the good ones.
Here are the following tips on what to do so we can have fun in the world of commerce and how not to let those pesky little 2-3% of our customers drive us to drinking.
- Take the emotion out of it. If you are the person in the middle and you are being treated poorly get all the data, paperwork, files and take them to your superior or other people who can make a decision on the facts, and not just on the problems your feeling. * If the business is not profitable due to all the time spent hand holding, or reacting to their complaints, do some math. If the business looks like the future will not have any potential also, its time to “86” them or to part ways.
- If you do say goodbye to the business, what is going to make up for their loss of revenue. Do you have the business in future prospects or is it going to be too hard to find and we have to spend too much time and money to replace them. * Like a marriage, most problems are attributed to a lack of communication. So here you must meet the client go over their concerns (if they are not raving lunatics and are foaming at the mouth) and then to go over yours and the companies objectives so you can try to have a fresh start. *Remember the golden rule...no wait a minute I mean the platinum rule made famous by the author Tony Allessandra. “Treat people the way THEY want to be treated”. It might be different than what you used to, but remember they still are in charge.
Even the best companies screw up once in a while and it’s hard to keep ALL customers happy ALL the time, but respect is a different matter all together. If you want to be treated with respect, you must be respectful towards other people. But sometimes it sure feels good to say goodbye to a customer, and to free yourself up so you have more time to take care of the good ones that are fun “to be of service”!