Customers have more power than they ever have. Not too many people will argue against that anymore. Social media tools have given them access to help and hurt companies at a level we’ve never seen. In fact, the phrase I heard many years ago that “the deer have guns now” is still very true today.
So how does this new reality fit with the old adage that the customer is always right? It doesn’t.
In fact, it’s more obvious now to see when a customer is wrong. In just the last week I recommended a client ban one customer on Facebook and ignore another. That doesn’t sound very social media friendly or engaging, but it was the right call. My client was very responsive and generous after the initial complaints but in one case the customer just wouldn’t be satisfied and in the other case the customer seemed more interested in complaining than resolving her issue.
In those cases what you find is that you cross a line from dealing with rational people who want a resolution to people who want something else entirely. They don’t really want help with the problem or they don’t want to admit that they had a hand in causing the problem to begin with. When you find yourself there, move along.
Kindly shut the relationship down and let your competitor have them.
As I was thinking about this last week I put these ideas in a Haiku Deck you can see below or on my gallery on their website.
The bottom line is this. The customer is always right…except when they’re not. In today’s business environment it’s important to know when a customer is crossing a line and it’s equally important to not feel guilty about move away from them. You don’t want all customers. You just want the good ones.