Thursday, December 18, 2008

Grumpy, Annoying, High-Maintenance Customers

Customers can be manipulative, grumpy, demanding, unreasonable, ridiculous, frustrating, rude, high maintenance, make you want to roll your eyes, and apparently even eat your laptop. Today I met with one of our challenging clients… and I loved it.

  • Tough customers are candid- you get the opportunity to get real feedback on how their experience is with your organization. Worse: You lose a client and don't know for several months, they simply fade away without a sound.

  • They will make the small cracks in your organization will look like gaping canyons- it can bring clarity to what you need to work on internally. Worse: You drudge along thinking you're doing "good enough" and don't fix what's actually broke.

  • If you can keep these clients and turn them into "fans"- you're taking steps to raise the bar of service with your team. Worse: Make excuses of why they're just crazy and let them go to a competitor.

  • These clients force you to be on your "A" game, ready to respond and find solutions. Worse: Walk on egg-shells with the client with a defensive disposition- this will simply make your already sub-par service worse.

Yes, there are times when you simply need to let a client go- it's just not financially viable to try to keep them. However, if you listen- there are valuable nuggets to take from these encounters. How are you responding to your customer-aches?

If by rare chance Mr. Customer you read this post. Thank you for your time and feedback today- you've helped us become a little bit better company today. I hope to get the chance to continue the dialogue in these upcoming weeks.

1 comment:

Matt Meyer said...

Cut/pasted and sent this off to key people at my company. A good re-focus for 2009. Perhaps they'll become regular Maximeyer readers!