Customer Is Not Always Right

[DAY 61 OF THE DEEP END PROJECT]

For 7 days, I am sharing 7 lessons I’ve learned on my Entrepreneurial journey. And, lesson number 4 may be called….hmmm….controversial? But you know me, I like to say what everyone else is thinking.

It gets me into trouble sometimes but it helps me sleep better at night.

So I am just going to say it – The Customer Is Not Always Right.

Sometimes they are wrong.

Sometimes they are offensive 

Sometimes they are rude

And sometimes they are just downright assholes.

And I believe this century old business phrase needs to just go. When we say Customer is always right, we are putting all the responsibility on us as business owners and none on the customer or client. 

When I started my business, I had a client whose annual sales were north of 3 Million USD.  No doubt she was a busy business owner with no regard to anyone’s time. Her bills weren’t paid on time. And, not just to me. As a service provider, it became my responsibility to chase her down for payment every single month, which often came 2 months later. 

My responsibility was to send her an invoice for the services I rendered and show up to meetings on time. 

Her job was to honor the bills and my time. She did neither.

She was definitely not right. And rightfully, I fired her after a few months.

I’ve been blessed to have worked with the best people in the industry. But I too (I am sure like you) have had my share of nightmare clients.

And every time, it’s proven to me that sometimes clients are wrong too.

As a service provider or a coach, it’s as much as our client’s responsibility (as it’s ours) to show up, do the work and respect the boundaries.

Yes, it always comes back to us to tighten our enrollment/application process, but let me tell you even with a super tight Enrollment Process, sometimes clients will slip through the cracks who aren’t right or aren’t right for that service, or are just plain jerks. 

It is at those moments that you have to remember that in spite of what we’ve been told about Customer Service, a customer can be wrong. 

Ofcourse I can’t tell you what to do as every scenario is very different, but I will share one thing. Letting go of a client who is clearly wrong (for you) is thousand times better than keeping him/her for the sake of money. 

That never ends well.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. What do you think? Is the customer always right? Or did my lesson 4 resonated with your business experience?

 

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