You’ve heard it over and over again how the customer is always right. As a customer of course we are always right! But how do you deal with the situation when you are the one serving the customer that is always right?
I got a wake up call on allowing patience to work its perfect work in these situations. By allowing your customer or client to be right you are allowing them the opportunity to be served the way they want to be served and as the service provider you are removing your ego to allow yourself to provide the perfect service and develop a working relationship that creates a safe place for the client or customer to trust you have their best interest at hand because you are willing to be of service to them.
Yes, there are those rude and obnoxious people that we can never make happy, but I am not speaking of those instances. I am speaking strictly of the times when you are attempting to advise a client on a benefit that will cost them less and give them more even though they may have to deal with some changes in the process. The truth is that none of us like to change. However, in the process of helping the client understand what you are offering you are still dealing with a communication struggle in order to resolve the conflict. Coming to a workable solution makes the customer happy and allows you to provide the best service.
Having a clear understanding that the customer is always right can be a valuable asset when you learn to see a positive resolution over the frustration of the conflict. No matter how frustrating it becomes for you, by agreeing with them they feel they are being heard and exonerated. Remember, the client has no idea of the magnitude or scope of what happens behind the scenes or what you have to do in order to make something happen for them, nor do they care. All they know is they have paid money to get what they want and you are there to be sure they get it.
My client told me today that she didn’t care how it worked, just that it worked and worked the way she had it already working. The problem for me was that I knew it was not only more work and a tear down of the existing infrastructure to rebuild it to have less performance, but that it would also limit the technical capability she was already paying for to give her less by doing it the way she requested. Actually, it would end up costing her more money each year for duplicate networks with less services. Still she was very adamant that she wanted it a certain way and was not open to hear suggestions. Bottom line, the customer is always right. When you reach an impasse give them exactly what they want. Service them by giving them the best advice and if they don’t want it, give them what they want even when you know something better exist.
I have another client that felt I was trying to have him spend more money by suggesting he purchase a better provider only to end up paying me hundreds of extra dollars to fix issues resulting from his current provider. He eventually purchased the better provider and now is open to any and all advice moving forward. It was a learning lesson he bought and paid for. It was an opportunity for me to remain neutral and in service to develop a long standing relationship with a client that now trust me to provide him with the best solutions available.
By going into neutral and allowing patience to work its perfect work, you are allowing the client the time to factor in the information you share while also giving them the value of excellent service, which continues to establish trust in the working relationship. It may mean you have to invest some extra work in time and hours, but in the long run you are developing a long standing business relationship with your client. They will come to respect you and trust your advice gives them options to make valuable choices for better services.
Today’s reminder made me realize that Spirit is always in charge and that providing a valuable service while staying positive will open the doors for Spirit to bless you in many other ways; including the clients acknowledgment that you have worked to show them you respect their thoughts and opinions and value what they want. Allow patience to work its perfect work even when working with your clients.
I found the list below quoted on executionist.com website. The picture is exactly how I feel in those moments when I can’t communicate the importance of a decision or new information to a client. AHHHHhhhhh!!!!
Yes, it’s exactly how we all feel when servicing clients that are immovable. But remember, it is about keeping your composure after attempting to share and propose better solutions knowing you gave the best advice possible and then releasing it to Spirit to move all in Divine Right Order.
My client finally understood what I was sharing with her after a little cooling off period and opted to move in the direction of the advice I was giving her. When you allow Spirit to do the perfect work, the victory that both people see brings them eye to eye as it becomes a win win for all involved. The project evolves into exactly what the client wanted, making them very happy in the end. This makes you a valuable asset to the structure of their business and/or personal lives depending on the type of service you are providing.
Yes! The Client is Always Right! Allow them to have their journey. It will all develop as it should in the end. Just do the job with 100% excellence and know that your blessings will come to you because you kept a positive attitude.
List of the Customer is Always Right was posted on Executionists.com on May 5, 2009
1. They insist on copying Apple’s interface and ignore your alternate (more appropriate) design options.
2. They want their site search to be “simple – like Google’s” and within their budget of $500.
3. They think their “tiny edits” should only “take a few minutes”.
4. They think you can “slap together a social networking site” in a week.
5. They think you can control how fast their new site will be indexed by the search engines.
6. They think they can get to the top of Google by paying an SEO company $69.95 a month
7. They think that calling you every 5 minutes will get their project done quicker.
8. They think you have a development team ready and waiting for their “rush” project.
9. They think you can figure out their server and application setup without giving you the access or an IT person who gives a damn.
10. They dismiss the value of a project planning phase as a “waste of time and money”.
11. They want their website to work in ALL browsers, even Opera and IE 6.
12. They think if they “build it” people will flock to it even without a business plan or marketing strategy.
13. They think the world will implode if their logo is 1 pixel too far to the right.
14. They think they can write their own compelling site content even though they have no background in copywriting.
15. They are comparing your development services to their cousin Melvin who built a MySpace page for his band.
16. They want you to just “you know, come up with some copy” that sells their product even though you’re the designer.
17. They want everything on the page to “pop” more.
18. They want the buttons to have that “gel look,” even if the rest of the site has a different feel.
19. They want you to find that perfect photo for their site from stock photography.
20. Their only direction is, “They’ll know it when they see it.”
*Note: These examples do represent actual clients (although we will deny it if they confront us).
The above List of the Customer is Always Right was posted on Executionists.com on May 5, 2009