We have all heard the mantra “The customer is always right”. The logic behind this business philosophy, originally created by Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1909, is to instill a good sense of responsibility in customers. Many companies still follow this principle and build business models based on it. With the fierce competition in the business world, some companies even do their best to satisfy their customers.
However, the business landscape has undergone tremendous changes over the years, making this customer-centric thinking obsolete and irrelevant. Of course, companies should always value high-quality customer service, but as business owners, we should also protect our best interests. To put it too sincerely that this spell might be self-destructive. You need to confirm that the customer is not always correct.
The hard truth about the indifference of things is that customers are not always right. Business owners do not need to bend back to meet customer expectations.
Why you should learn from certain customers
For many companies, it is not easy to say “no” to customers. It is always possible to offend them or lose their support. However, following this business sense wholeheartedly may waste your resources and energy, and may even harm the interests of the entire team. The superpower can determine which potential customers will become ideal customers and which will be rejected. Make it clear who you want to serve and provide them with the best service.
Meeting unruly customers is part of your business, but it does not mean doing business with them. Although we want to retain as many customers as possible, there will always be customers who are not worth having. Working with bad customers not only wastes company resources, but also wastes our precious time. Forcing a bad partnership may hinder the success of the project and ultimately lead to dissatisfaction between both parties.
Companies should not rely on individual customers and spend too much time and energy to satisfy those who do not want to make themselves happy. It is foolish to believe that you can meet the needs of all customers around the clock. Even the most successful companies know this is impossible because every customer has unique needs. Trying to satisfy every customer can lead to business failure.
Most importantly, business owners and customers must respect each other in terms of time, knowledge, and contributions that are beneficial to both parties.
When to set the boundary
Saying “no” to customers appropriately and effectively is a valuable skill that every business owner should learn. First determine the circumstances under which you should exercise your power and say “no”.
Here are some signs that it’s time to let go of your customers:
- When a customer wants you to violate company policy -Customers who try to spend a penny to get special offers or discounts from your services are not worth keeping. Although satisfying customer complaints is our instinct, these types of customers may force you to succumb to their unreasonable demands.
- When customers have unrealistic expectations and wishes -Business continues to evolve-This may be a change in your service process or product design. However, not all customers are satisfied with this. Some will even ask you to change it back. These are some unrealistic requests from customers. Changes occur because they are essential to your business growth. Unfortunately, not all customers can adapt to these changes.
- When you need to protect yourself – We have limited time and energy as business owners. Only when we need to solve the problem and satisfy the customer, is there a reason to devote our time and energy to the customer. Grateful customers make all our time and energy worthwhile. Sometimes, setting boundaries and rejecting unrealistic requests from customers can keep us sane. Not knowing who will share your work may increase your risk of exhaustion. Know who your ideal customer is and what you can or cannot provide. Once you are sure that they are not suitable for your business, you can say “no” to them.
How to say no to customers
Although it is necessary, saying “no” to customers is something that must be handled carefully. If not handled properly, it may affect your brand image and reputation. How do you reject customers without harming your business?
Explain your reason -When you reject their request, the customer should get a reasonable explanation. Be frank and honest, not harsh. Tell them why they are not suitable for your business.
Provide alternatives – Some customers are not suitable for you, but they may be ideal for other companies. You can recommend them to other agents who provide the same services as you. You can also recommend books or courses that will provide useful information to keep them going. In this way, you will not go home empty-handed.
(In some cases) immediately cut off the power cord -You don’t want to work with toxic clients just because you need funds or the project has ended. Avoid bad customers at all costs and minimize drama as much as possible. In the long run, you will thank yourself.
Customer-centricity may be the new benchmark for customer service, but in some cases, you need to say no to your customers to save yourself, your employees, and your business. If you can’t please your customers, then your best bet is to have a positive impression of your service, even if you can’t solve their problems.