Every business organization has its potential customers. One of the reason why a business is still in market is because of customer’s patronage. In other words, customers are vital to a business continual existence and success. However, that does not mean that the business is all about the customers. Before the founder started it, he or she would know the kind of business they want to establish and the process they want to follow in their organization. Is it now okay for them to abandon their plans and visions for their businesses and adopt that of customers?
Let us take an example of why this should not happen and why the customer is always right, is actually wrong;
Miss Oke is just 32 years old and unmarried but is the founder of Daylight Nursery and Primary school. Before she started her organization, she had laid down plans and visions for her school, and a pattern that is convenient for her to follow. Soon after organizing her school, parents started bringing their children to the school. As time went on, some of the parents started seeing themselves as co-owners of the school; they began seeing themselves as investors because their children attends Miss Oke’s School. Because of that feeling, they started dictating what they want to Miss Oke and started telling her how to run her school, based on how it would be convenient and favorable for them. They began questioning her when she made decisions, and would rather she consulted them first to know how they want it.
They did all this because they felt they were the customers and the only reason the school is there is because of them, so the school has to satisfy their every want, but that notion is wrong, because if Miss Oke as the founder of that business gives room for this, she would end up making them comfortable at her own expense, and she would run at great loss trying to do everything pleasing to them because they would always ask for what would be favorable and convenient for themselves.
In summary, one of the reasons why the customers is always right is wrong is because, sometimes their intentions are only to satisfy themselves and they don’t think of what you would have to go through to accomplish that, so you will end up pleasing them but only displease yourself and run at a loss at the end.
The demands and expectations of customers may just be what you can’t do or plan to do, and you will end up unhappy when you fulfill their demands at the expense of your business.
We have talked about customers only demanding for what would benefit them regardless of the price you and your business would have to pay to fulfill their demands. You can imagine their request to be something like reduction in product or service price, regular discount offers, inclusion in decision making, etc. This can actually be bad for your business, and could cause you to lose your profits and run into loss if not properly implemented, the actual reason for going into business is to make gain.
Some customers don’t have the best of your interest at heart, but only seek for how to benefit from your services. If you always flow with your customers, they would receive undue advantage and you would be left with nothing. If you keep yielding to their unreasonable demands, you will soon be put out of business. You can’t sustain a business with the mindset of always fulfilling customer’s expectations. This does not mean you should not give your customers quality products and services, but don’t always go out of your way trying to please every customer.
It is not all advice you should listen to. Listening to the wrong advice can put you into serious problems, some businesses end up winding up because they listened to an advice that proved wrong and bad for their business.
Inasmuch as customer’s feedback is important, you need to know how to select the important ones from the unimportant ones. Then, you can use the important feedback to promote your services. So, it is important to note that not all that your customers say is best for your business, therefore customers can also be wrong.
When you also yield to customers demands, you may end up causing conflict within your organization, and that is between your staff and yourself. Let us go back to our example. Now, if Miss Oke always listens to what the children’s parents have to say and always satisfy their demands, imagine what would happen when a parent complains about a teacher or caregiver and demand you to handle the situation the way they want, if you go ahead to do this, other teachers, caregivers, and your staff in general would be affected by your action. A conflict would develop because of this. Your staff would grow unsure of their importance and value to you, and would question your leadership skills and consider if they would want to continue working under you. If this persist, your employees would develop the feeling that you value the customers more than them, and would do anything to satisfy them irrespective of your employees own welfare.
This would in turn lead to poor customer service. When employees feel unhappy because of how you treat them and revere customers, they develop a kind of ill feeling for the customers and would serve them poorly, when compared to how they would serve if they were happy.
This becomes a big problem for you because your employees majorly delivers the services while you oversee. When they deliver poor services, it will reflect on you and your services, and push good existing and prospective customers away.
In summary, just like Miss Oke, every business owner have a business plan. They know what they want their business to become and how they want to accomplish that. They have goals and values. It is important not to lose focus of your plan, goals and vision for your business as an entrepreneur.
Inasmuch as you want to satisfy your customers, you cannot meet all their demands and expectations but should carefully consider customers feedbacks before implementing them, just as you should not listen to everything they say. This does not mean that you don’t value them, but it means you are being strategic, trying to balance your business, yourself, employees and customers needs.
As the owner of your own business, you know what you want and what is ultimately best for your business, follow your business plan and other strategies that would lead to your business success.