The Right Kind of Customer
Posted by Becky Carroll on April 27, 2007
I recently needed to have my car repaired, and after calling around and speaking to various shops, I made my decision and brought it in. I had decided on this shop for a few reasons: their website said they had won several customer service awards from AAA (there had to be zero customer complaints in order to win this), and the person I spoke with seemed very friendly and helpful.
When I arrived, his cheerful demeanor continued, and the experience was pleasant. Interestingly, he said this to me:
I could tell when I spoke to you on the phone that you were the right kind of customer for us. You seemed upbeat and positive.
Turns out this shop stopped pursuing the customer service award (after winning it several years in a row) because of their customers. As I mentioned, there could not be any customer complaints in order to win the award. Originally, the award could be given out if there weren’t any justified customer complaints; in other words, the shop had to have actually done something wrong. Over the next few years, the award became harder to win as there couldn’t be any complaints, justified or unjustified, and the time period got longer (18 months without complaints). He explained if they had any customers who complained at all, even if it was for a misunderstanding (or was just a nasty customer), they wouldn’t be able to win the award again. This became too stressful and difficult, so they stopped pursuing the award.
Do you have the “right kind” of customers? Are they adding value to your organization, or are they costing you? Sometimes, we look out for customers at the expense of our employees. Southwest Airlines puts their employees first and customers second (thanks to Amy at getsatisfaction for the link). I think there needs to be a balance between customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and being reasonable on both counts!
(Photo uploaded by mdilsiz)