Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Customer is Always Right…Uh, No!

There is the old adage, the customer is always right. Right? Well, no the customer is not always right and sometimes you even need to fire them. Take a look at the article from the NY Times; Know When to Fire a Customer.

This article brought to mind a particular incident when I owned a small resort in Wyoming. A large family was having a reunion at the resort, and they were incredibly difficult to deal with. No matter what my staff did, it wasn’t good enough. Because I happened to be at the resort that week, I took a personal interest in trying to sort out the matter. But no matter what I did, it just wasn’t enough to satisfy this demanding group. Finally, it was on day three of a seven night stay that I met with a group of the family members and told them that since we couldn’t seem to make their week a happy one, that I would find them accommodations elsewhere in the area where they would hopefully be able to enjoy the rest of their reunion. The family members immediately said that they didn’t want to move, that in fact they wanted to stay and it caused the entire dynamic of the relationship to change. They didn’t become the easiest group to deal with, but their constant bickering and complaining ended and I think they had a reasonably happy vacation. My approach worked; and while it won’t always be the right approach, sometimes you just have to say to your customer that you don’t want their business. Be careful when you do so, but sometimes it just has to be done.

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