William J. H. Boetcker. "That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong." [Quotes of the Day]
Don't expect to grow business relationships with anyone if you seek to please everyone. Sometime you have to disappoint the people closest to you-- even deny customers the services they request. How can this seemingly contrary advice improve relationships?
If you know something isn't right for a customer, you must refuse to serve them. Tell them exactly why a solution isn't right for them, guide them in the right direction without pushing them to your solution. Educate your customers so they can choose the right solution.
Consider this, can a customer buy too little of your product to make a difference? Getting half a solution can be worse than no solution at all. Take every effort to sell your customer everything they need to solve a problem, but not an ounce more.
Imagine a customers dismay when after integrating a new software environment their hardware platform grind to a stop. "Damn it, YOU should have sold me a hardware upgrade," says an irate customer, knowing full well THEY didn't want a pre-service assessment that would have identified the problem. For a few dollars more, they could have avoided this whole situation. Who's problem is it now?
Is it the customers problem for not planning ahead? Is it your problem for not pushing the assessment to insure a positive experience with the software package? Who should get the blame for this critical mistake? You'll be surprised by the answer...
It's YOUR fault that your customer didn't get what they expected!
In every case, customers rely on the expertise of the supplier. It is your responsibility to each customer to provide a working solution, even if your suggestions displease them in the short term. Would you rather a customer remember how you did a good job or how you let them down?
You don't have to accept every customer, but you do have to provide the ones you have the right solution for them. What are customers forgetting that prevents them from getting the most from what you offer?
/ customer-relations | management-strategies /
By Justin Hitt at January 24, 2004 4:22 AM Subscribe in a reader