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Why 50% Of Your Customers Suck

By jameszol
Published on November 27, 2007

100% of us fall into this category 50% of the time. :) This is my attitude when I am one of those 50%:

I want things done my way - forget about doing things YOUR way even if you are the professional I hired to do YOUR job.

If you fail, even after doing it my way, you are the worst company in the world and I won’t ever do business with you again and I’m going to tell all my friends about you, so there.

You don’t want to work with me? My $thousands per month isn’t good enough for you? Then I’ll take my business somewhere else!

Oh yeah, I want my money back plus interest.

Ouch.

That’s why you have to love the customers that suck. They represent revenue - even if they seem to have outrageous demands at one time or another. Of course, you are certainly able to fire your customers any time they start acting very obnoxious…and if you do your due diligence, then it shouldn’t happen more than 5% of the time - and even that is too often!

Now, I will illustrate the attitude I have when I trust the company right away:

You know what you’re doing. Get it done for me and educate me about your professional reasoning behind the outcome. Simply notify me regularly of the status of my account with you.

Wow, you did a great job and I’m very happy with the results. You should have charged me more. :)

That is more relaxed isn’t it?

It is more relaxing for the customer too - especially when the results pour in.

We’re lucky at semvironment. Our clients give us free reign over everything - of course we interview them initially and make sure they know we want their input and the knowledge they have about their customer is superior to ours; but, we build a sense of trust and reliability so we can strive for hours on end to please our clients. And they appreciate the stellar results that we deliver.

There is a great branding company that we sent an RFP to about one or two weeks ago…and one of their clients would NOT let them perform to capacity because of the constant changes and “improvements” they wanted to make to a website. It is important to accept change until it begins to cross the professional boundaries where you know results might be compromised. The founders of this branding company attended the top schools in the nation for branding and graphic design - and they are used to a challenge. I have to admit that I think this particular client, while achieving astounding results to the tune of an 800% gain in an already established business, went too far with making it good for THEM instead of their audience. The branding company KNEW their client’s audience, they researched and spent hours understanding this audience only to have almost everything changed by their client. I am going to be bold enough to say that IF this client let the branders do their job, and stick to their guns with it, results may have been double or triple the already astonishing results they achieved! Wouldn’t it make sense to let your money work for a 2400% return instead of an 800% return?

WHY would anybody throw that opportunity away?

I guess the bottom line is this - if you happen to be a customer that sucks, try letting go. Give your vendor/employees the freedom to move about on their own. I am confident you will be happy with the results!

One more thing - let the customers that suck know you are the professional and you are confident in your work. Ask for a little more freedom. You might be surprised with the outcome.

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