Last weekend while shopping for some office supplies, I overheard an angry customer blast an obscenity at a very young female clerk. She apparently did not have the information he was looking for – and he screamed that he wanted to see the manager. As the next customer I assured the frightened clerk that the behavior she had just seen was not acceptable and should not be tolerated – but she said they are told the customer is always right. I know that’s the old adage; but personally, I think it’s nonsense.
Bad behavior, unreasonable demands, and disrespect do not have to be tolerated in business. Trying to please every customer will drive anyone crazy. Companies are finding that doing business with certain big box retailers may not be a good idea. Impossible turnaround times, unrealistic profit margins and underpaying employees are not good business practices. Many companies have decided to “fire” big clients in order to maintain a healthy workplace. Businesses that try to accommodate every customer wish or demand will realize a diminished overall effectiveness.
If you can be the leader of the most powerful country in the world with 51% of the people’s support, I’m convinced you can run a very successful business without having 100% of the people’s support. Robert Kiyosaki, author of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series says that to be a successful author you need to have 1/3 of the people love you, 1/3 who hate you, and 1/3 who don’t really care. Pleasing everyone likely means you have not said anything really new or significant.
Even here at 48 Days we have the occasional belligerent customer who demands a magic solution, expects results with no work invested, or questions my Christianity because we run a for-profit business rather than a charity. Our immediate choice is to delete that person from our database, stopping all further communication. We have decided to do business with happy, positive, optimistic people. People who are excited about the future they are creating and who see the many possibilities. There will always be whiners, small thinkers, and complainers.
“Keep away from angry, short-tempered men, lest you learn to be like them and endanger your soul.” Proverbs 22: 24-25