June 16th, 2020
As entrepreneurs, it’s hammered into our heads that the customer is the judge and the jury, and we should walk to the sun and back to serve their needs!
And…If you don’t heed their demands, then how can you expect to survive in the hyper-competitive market?
But have you ever entertained the idea that the customer might not always be right? If you haven’t, now is the time you give it some thought!
Example: you have built a sleek movie streaming app that offers users the opportunity to watch a film for free every day. They can unlock your entire movie library only if they get a paid subscription. Even though you’ve made the business model, terms & conditions crystal clear, you might come across customers calling your app a ‘scam’ or that it ‘lures people into signing up’! They might demand that you offer unlimited access. But let’s face it; that’s not feasible!
Plain and simple…It’s not possible to keep everyone happy.
You should take it for granted that if you have 500 loyal customers, there are going to be a few who may be extremely fussy and have a lot of unfounded complaints regarding your products.
But, this shouldn’t be a reason to worry. In such a scenario, you should remember that:
You actually don’t need to retain every customer
Whether you’re a vendor or a supplier, you will definitely come across unsatisfied or disgruntled customers who are particularly difficult to deal with. They might have strange demands and be extremely rude to you, or get on your nerves with their empty threats.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that you are actually losing out on business by paying attention to their constant calls and emails. Perhaps it may be in your best interest to let such customers go.
You have finite resources
Picture this: a customer care representative working for your company is on a call for the past hour with a furious customer. The problem? He/she is unwilling to accept that your company no longer manufactures products that can be used to repair his/her 30-year-old bathroom fittings. In such a case, not only are precious man-hours getting wasted, but you’re also losing out on money as this call is not going to lead anywhere.
Businesses strive to raise funds to stay afloat and owners can’t really afford to feel guilty or go out of their way to help grudging customers. If appropriate steps have already been taken to address grievances, and you’ve done everything reasonable to offer assistance, then you should encourage your staff to kindly surrender and move on.
What is more important is to communicate with your employees on how to address this topic in the most effective manner. This will help to build loyalty and trust while reminding you to channel your efforts towards other productive areas.
You need to keep your staff happy as well
Nothing kills staff morale more than stringent adherence to “the customer is always right” policy.
Sometimes, it’s just impossible to manage a customer because they might be too abusive and unruly. Your company culture and guidelines should take these issues into account. Unwillingness to side with CSRs or forcing them to apologize when it’s not their fault will not only spread negatively in the workplace, but it will also fuel anger towards the company for not standing up for them or even offering them a safe space to work. That is why we cannot stress enough on how important it is to support your team during such times!
So, is the customer always right? Perhaps not! When you come across rowdy or headstrong customers, always ask yourself these questions before you get deeper into the conversation – “will this help to meet my business goals? Will more effective communications help me retain and/or get me more customers?” If answers to these are in the negative, then perhaps you may need to bid farewell to them because maybe they are an obstacle on your path to success!
For more tips and strategies to go from surviving to thriving on your entrepreneurial journey, reach out to me for a complimentary business strategy call. Connect on a Complimentary Call today!