By Melodie Veldhuizen
“Is the client always right?” This is a question that most business professionals ask the most, and to which many clients will reply in the affirmative. But isn’t it unfair of clients to expect to always and at all costs get their own way, even if their demands are unreasonable?
Following are a few reasons why the client is not always right:
- Unreasonable clients rob you of your limited resources
Every businessman or -woman has limited resources such as time, money and energy to spend on his/her business or clients. Don’t allow clients who repeatedly cause problems to rob you of these resources unnecessarily, especially after initial efforts to satisfy him or her. In a world that is client-centred, rather focus on the clients that make a positive contribution to your business. No business is dependent on individual clients. It’s important to first take care of the numerous, sometimes even hundreds, of other loyal clients.
- This attitude makes it difficult for your employees
It’s unreasonable to not take your employees’ side against intolerant, critical clients. Usually these are people who are never satisfied with anything. To ensure your employees’ satisfaction, happiness and efficiency, rather support them. Respect their judgement, ability and opinion. It’s a bigger issue to lose a loyal employee than a few unreasonable clients. Convey the message to your clients that they are important, but not indispensable. It is your employees who help you to build up and maintain the business. Moreover, happy and loyal employees will go out of their way to satisfy (reasonable) clients.
- Money is not even close to being everything
Clients with unrealistic expectations and demands (directly or indirectly) are not worth the money you lose when you lose them. They are not even worth the stress and friction they cause you and your employees. Rather break all ties with such clients and focus your time, dignity and emotional health on service to clients who respect your resources and boundaries, and concentrate on obtaining new clients.
- Clients don’t know everything
Often some clients try to create the impression that they know everything. They want to advise you on how you should run your business, or how a product or service should really work. Regardless of the nature of your business, it is a risk to give the client free reign to show he or she possesses all the wisdom in the world and is always right. If you company manufactures products, emphasise in a calm and friendly manner, in the presence of the client, that the manufacturer has the final authority. By demonstrating and explaining the product or service to the client fully; it helps the client to understand that the manufacturer possesses all the necessary expertise.
- You don’t need every client
By losing a single dissatisfied, disgruntled client, you may lose a bit of profit. This is a drop in the ocean compared to the fact that these clients break your employees’ spirit and cause a lot of stress. In the end the loss of a single client will be to the advantage of the company’s long-term objectives.
Excellent client service is the core of every business, which is why every business owner must focus on keeping clients satisfied, within reason, by meeting all their needs. To however take the view that the client is always right is to the disadvantage of any business. It demotivates employees by giving insulting, attacking, critical, demanding clients the power and also exposes other clients to bad experiences. Cultivate the skills in your employees to make informed decisions regarding difficult clients. Encourage them to at all times render their best service possible, without granting unreasonable clients unnecessary power.