Without customers, your business wouldn’t exist. Customer service is important, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the customer is “always right”. In fact, here are a few reasons why difficult customers are actually bad for business…
They demotivate your employees
No matter how hard you try, chances are you’ll have to deal with customers that are less than pleasant.
If ever you need to make a choice between your employee (especially if they are not at fault) and a really difficult customer, remember that your employee has helped you make your business what it is today. And, employees who feel supported by their bosses are far more likely to give more to the business. It may even come down to either having to cut a difficult customer loose – or find a new hire. We say, keep the employee!
Sometimes they are more trouble than they’re worth
Jumping through hoops for unreasonable customers could run your business into the ground. They use up time and effort which could better be spent on others who appreciate and value your business – and who are more likely to return for repeat business in future.
As a small business or start-up, it feels as though every rand matters – even those from relentlessly irksome customers. However, by setting the precedent early on that the customer is always right, you may as well put a sign up welcoming more rude and demanding customers…
Learn from each experience, no matter how unpleasant it may be. For example, if you are working on a project and the customer constantly goes back and forth, insist that any further changes be charged for. This forces customers to make final decisions and not change their minds on a whim. We know you want to be seen as someone who goes the extra mile but you need to consider if that extra mile is worth it (or have become several extra miles, when the customer is only paying for a quick Uber ride).
Customers don’t always know best
You are the professional. That’s why people come to you for your product or service. The fact is that your customers often don’t know or understand the processes behind what goes into your product or service. Never assume anything when it comes to customers. The number-one reason a customer relationship (or any relationship for that matter) turns sour is because of poor communication. Communicate clearly and often. This helps to set realistic expectations and build trust.
None of this is to suggest that you throw customers out at the first sign of a disagreement. Both you and your customers are human after all, and misunderstandings are a part of life. Deal with, and learn from, each situation as it comes – but keep these points in mind when making decisions going forward.
Do you need help putting systems in place to mitigate any problems that may arise in the future – customer-related or otherwise? Contact Outsourced Finance. We are here to help.