By Dana Pope

Customers are Always Right… Not Anymore
16 October 2017 | 10:20 am

Customers are Always Right….Not Anymore

(You’ve created this monster. Now, what are you going to do!)

You have to admit, things are different in our world these days. We are faced with dangers we didn’t worry about a few years ago. Every day we hear about mass shootings, road rage, physical and verbal attacks or disrespecting authority. Right as we get used to these horrid occurrences, something more appalling happens, like the shooting in Las Vegas. Crimes will continue to intensify and the more they occur, we will become desensitized to them.

The behavior of our society has altered from what it was even ten years ago. People make judgments on others without knowing anything about them. Verbal attackers interpret what they think the speaker means. They translate what is spoken by their own definitions without even knowing the person, and the problem is escalating.

This judgmental behavior carries over to your business. No longer is Sally Shopper coming in for a pleasant experience looking for her treasure. Now customers are rude, demanding what they want. It doesn’t matter what you offer them, they think they deserve better. This attitude and expectation of the shopper has changed the concept: the customer is always right.

Your goal as a business owner is to serve your consumer. You want to take care of them so they will return. To make that happen, you give them special services or pricing.  The idea is to turn the customer into a repeat buyer instead of a one-time shopper.

This mentality doesn’t work today. The consumer is not the person you have catered to in the past. You are now a supplier to purchasers who have a “me” attitude, wanting to tell you what the deal will be. Although you give away the farm it won’t be good enough.

Nevertheless, you can turn this around provided you change your philosophy. It takes time and sacrifice, but in the end, your company’s sales will benefit. You have to stop the bleed by teaching your patrons how to be good customers.

Think about what has been occurring. The purchaser comes in, you show them what they need, they bicker, you give in, and when they come back they quarrel more. They know you will give in so why not. You have trained the customer what to do, consequently, they will continue. The result is a negative impact on your bottom line.

This cycle has to stop. It’s okay to give special service or pricing to a consumer the first time. Through that deal, they see they are appreciated. Make it a big deal so they understand it is exclusive to them and a one-time occurrence. Here’s the hard part. Then it’s back to business.

Whoa, whoa you say. I don’t want to lose their business. This is where we separate the men from the boys. It’s time to go into training mode. You are looking for long term. Making the first transaction an unrepeatable, good deal is a start. What’s next?

It isn’t necessary to keep selling below what you list. If you are constantly being asked for discounts then reduce your price and uphold it. You won’t need to lower the amount because it is priced right. You believe in what you sell; now teach the customer the value of your products or services.

What will happen is the client will get used to how you do business. You don’t see doctors and dentists being asked to lower their price because we know the price is fixed. We can have that too. For example, when your customer wants to purchase an item listed at $500 don’t change your $800 price any lower. If they are only willing to pay $500 then show them what they get for $500. They set their budget; we teach them what’s available at that price.

We can’t do business the way we used to; consequently, we have to change with the times. Educate your customers. The consumer has forgotten that you are there to help them find the product or service they are looking for. You are the expert of your business. Train them how to work with you. Stand by your price. Stick with your policies. If you are not willing to do that then rethink what you are doing. If you don’t believe in what you are offering how will your customers.

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