Many businesses still subscribe by the notion that the customer is always right. Anybody who has ever worked in a service role knows that this is patently not true, and that pandering to the most extreme customers creates low staff morale which further ensures poor customer service for other clients.
The good news is expectations are changing, companies don’t have to put up with the aggressive, ridiculous demands of bad customers anymore, and by making a stand, you can create a stronger relationship with the majority of your customers.
See this photo of a facebook exchange by Yahoo with a customer following the landmark marriage equality decision in the US recently.
In the past, this sort of exchange would have been unthinkable; publicly inviting a customer to take their business elsewhere would have been considered service suicide. Granted, Yahoo is a huge multi-billion dollar company with less to lose than an independent New Zealand company, but they still took a stand on an issue which is divisive for many people.
Yahoo just solidified their position, intent and brand in one simple post. They will undoubtedly lose a fair few customers over their stance, but the majority of their customers just saw a brand that stood up for what they thought was right, and they will they will get new customers back in spades and more.
This thinking can be translated right back to your business, and back to more standard bad customer situations. Sure, you could go along with them to try to keep the peace, flip flopping back and forth on rules and procedure to keep them happy, but you shouldn’t… Your companies integrity is worth holding on tight to, and your customers will respond in the long run.
All of your customers are entitled to respect and best service, but they don’t automatically deserve our unthinking compliance. No one will win in this scenario. Being aggressive back will never work, but a calm response in line with your companies core values will never be out of place.
Our best, most important customers respond to brands that can show a clear set of values, don’t hesitate to say goodbye to the very few who aren’t doing your business any good. Your customers and staff will thank you for it.