Most business owners have a puzzled look on their faces whenever i throw this question at them. They wonder how a Nice Customer can possibly ruin their business, until I break it down.
But first things first, you need to understand that there are Nice Customers and there are the ‘Nice’ Customers
Who is the ‘Nice’ Customer?
According to Business Author Michael LeBoeuf, the ‘Nice’ Customer, is a Customer who never complains no matter what type of Service he/she gets.
Who wouldn’t love such Customers? (I would have loved them a year ago).
But when you realize that the Nice Customers are usually the ones who never pointed out to you where you failed to leave up to their expectations, or where you could have improved on your services, and the ones who simply stopped showing up after they received a superior Service Quality elsewhere, you will begin to see ‘nice’ Customers in a new light.
Customers morph to ‘Nice’ Customers usually because a firm doesn’t encourage Customer complaints, by either failing to effectively resolve previous complaints or by treating the complaining Customer shabbily, as time goes by Customers won’t see the essence of complaining (they think “Why bother complaining? It’s not like it’s going to help”), such is especially common in monopolist markets or SME businesses which are yet to become Customer focused and also poorly managed government agencies.
But the truth is, when you have mostly ‘Nice’ Customers patronizing your business-
- There will be little or no improvement in your Services – You’ll never know what it is you’re doing wrong or areas where you could improve on (feedback), simply because nobody is pointing it out to you or you’re simply not listening.
This eventually degenerates to complacency.
- Competition would eventually render you irrelevant – A great percentage of the time, ‘nice’ Customers will simply stop doing business with you once they getter a better service quality elsewhere. (One day you realize, the Customers have stopped coming!)
- You’ll never understand your Customers and their needs – When Customers don’t complain (or stop complaining), you risk missing out on the general expectations of the Customers from your business, this way you’d have an uphill task of maintaining Customer loyalty (especially when competition shows up, down the street).
- You’ll miss out on Competitive Intelligence – It’s usually complaining Customers who point out what competition is doing or how they’re doing it.
(Something like; “In XYZ, it takes only 2 days for them to…”)
- You’ll miss out on valuable business insights – From a Customer complaint, you can have a great idea that could lead to a new service or a new business, a complaint like “Why does this take too long to get to me?” Could give you the idea of starting an express delivery service, and which could be profitable & also lead to improved Customer perception.
So, there you have it, If you are a business owner and you haven’t gotten a single Customer complaint in a long time, ask yourself – is this is because my services are the best? Or because i have a lot of ‘Nice’ Customers.