Everyone’s heard the saying “the customer is always right,” but this simply isn’t true.
Yes, you should respect your customers and be attentive to their needs. Great customer service is what sets businesses apart, but, at some point, you should learn where and how to draw the line.
Here are some reasons why:
Trying To Appease Every Customer Is Unrealistic And Costly
Every business has to deal with unreasonable customers. Everyone has probably been at a restaurant at some point and observed a waiter gritting his teeth and forcing a smile while being mistreated by a guest. Managers and employees who deal with customers regularly know this comes with the territory, but at some point, enough is enough.
Some people are impossible to please and do nothing but cause trouble. As a manager, you only have so many resources at your disposal, and sometimes you just have to realize a single customer isn’t worth wasting them.
Many times it will be less painful to realize you are in a no-win situation sooner than later. If you’ve made every effort to address a customer’s complaints and they’re still giving you headaches, it’s best to let them go and realize it likely had nothing to do with you.
People in general want to be liked by everyone, but that’s not realistic in your personal life, so why would it be realistic in the business world? You should decide which customers are worth your time and energy and focus on them.
Don’t neglect customers who can be satisfied in favor of those who can’t. Furthermore, obnoxious customers are often a turnoff to other customers, so disassociating with them might not only alleviate unnecessary stress but also attract a more desirable customer base.
It’s also usually true that letting one disruptive customer walk out the door won’t break your business. Every now and then, especially with business-to-business transactions or if your company is still getting off the ground, one customer might make up a significant portion of a business’s profits. Usually, however, one customer represents a small fraction of a business’s profits, so it doesn’t make sense to spend a disproportionate amount of time on them.
Siding With Customers Can Alienate Good Employees
If you make it a habit to always side with the customer, you risk having a bunch of unhappy employees on your hands. If you care about retaining your employees, don’t send them into the fire if your better judgment tells you it’s futile.
In fact, pre-establishing that the customer is always right will usually ensure poorer customer service because most people don’t deal with situations well when they’re unhappy.
Stand up for your employees when you know they’re right or when they’re being bullied. This is a good way to gain you a high level of respect as a manager. It will also make them want to do a good job and, consequently, they’ll be able to give all customers better service. If you put your employees first, they’ll be able to put the customer first.
In conclusion, try to resolve conflicts with customers within reason, but don’t let them monopolize your resources or alienate your employees. Realize one customer isn’t the end-all, be-all. There are other opportunities out there. Learn what you can from unappeasable customers and move on.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: The Customer Isn’t Always Right
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