Business owners need to stop bending to the customer's every whim because that will only reinforce bad behaviour and can create a poisonous culture of agreement within their company. Here's what to do instead.
Customers can be difficult to deal with, especially when you're in the services business; unreasonable requests and unrealistic deadlines are common. Justin Gray, CEO of digital marketing services company LeadMD, knows this all too well.
Over at Entrepreneur, Gray believes that by catering to a customer's unreasonable demands, it will only encourage them to try and get away with more and eventually the business relationship will become unsalvageable.
This urge to bend over backwards for clients is indicative of a company that is used to saying "yes" internally as well, he said, and that can backfire. "Organisations with a culture of agreement are fundamentally set up for failure since ideas will become homogenised and critical thinking will fall by the wayside," Gray said.
He said good customers secretly want to be challenged by people they trust and you need to push them out of their comfort zone. Those are the customers you want to keep:
"Here's a hard lesson for younger entrepreneurs but one that will give you incredible peace of mind if you stay true to it: not every customer or client will want to work with you. Once you've come to terms with this, you will be liberated. You won’t have to be the one backtracking, doing 360s and looking desperate. The business you want will start coming to you. The customer isn’t always right, but the right customer is always worth it."
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