When Customers Are no Longer Right

“The customer is always right.”

This maxim has been around since the beginning of the 20th century. Harry Gordon Selfridge coined the phrase and businesses have been taking it to heart. Most companies of today still follow the adage in their quest to provide the best products and services to their customers, and thus to form the strongest foundation of growing the business. As the director of my company offering bookkeeping services in Brisbane, I firmly believe in serving the customers’ needs and wants as much as my company could, up to a certain level.

Customers aren’t always right. There are some instances when you have to put your feet down, and fire a customer. Here are the exceptions to the rule – signs that you have to let a customer go;

When the customer is taking unjust advantage over other customers

The level of service or product quality and quantity you are offering to your clients should be universal to all your customers who are paying you the same amount of money. If you’re giving 13 to a dozen to one client, do it for everybody. If people want additional services or more customized products, you can offer it with additional cost to them. There are instances that you will be obliged to give the extras for free, like when doing a gratuity for a longtime client who has been bringing in new customers. Offering extras and freebies to selected people is also acceptable when you are compensating for an inconvenience or disappointment due to your company’s doing.  

When your company have done everything you could

Offering the product or service for free is not unusual when a customer called you out for a blunder. It is your fault, and it is only right to make it up with your client. But what if you’ve done everything right? What if you are a pizza store and your customer is asking for cigarettes with the order? What if you’re an expert in Swedish massage and clearly promotes that, and the customer is demanding you a compensation because he was expecting a Thai massage? Clearly, you’re not the one for their needs, gladly recommend they go to somebody else.

When they are eating away at your resources

You are in business to make a profit. You can do that by offering products and services to your clients. To gain profit, the cost of your services or products has to be lower than the price you are offering it for. But what if the customer is taking too much of your employee’s time re-doing her orders? What if you have to create a different and expensive packaging just for his order? A lot of companies went down just because they cater to every single whim of their clients. As your Brisbane bookkeeper, my advice would be to ask for extra payment. If they don’t agree to pay you more for the additional effort, just say no.

When they are making your employees unhappy

Loyal and dedicated employees are your company’s greatest assets. Do not make the mistake of siding with an overbearing customer over them. Happy employees are more likely to work harder for your company’s success and provide great services to your clients. Losing one client will not matter as you are to gain more with their honest work. But keeping one disgruntled customer might cost you to lose several good ones due to underperforming and unhappy employees.

When they are simply wrong

Would you take back a tailored suit because your customer didn’t like the color he initially chose? Or if the customer is returning the slightly droopy rose bouquet she ordered in the first place and want orchids instead because she changed her mind? What if a diner is verbally abusing your servers? Are you going to give in? Just, no.

There are other ways to build up your business than sucking up to undeserving customers. If you focus on providing nothing but the best, there will always be people who will need your product or service. Sacrificing the relationship with few customers you can’t seem to satisfy maybe the best for you and your company. I too have to let go of some clients in my business of bookkeeping in Brisbane. The decision made me focus on the clients who really needs my company and whom I can offer the best services to.