The Customer Isn’t Always Right – Especially ‘Greedy’ Ones!


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A mongolian ‘eat all you can’ restaurant in Brighton has banned two customers… because they ate too much!

Apparently, the customers have visited the Gobi restaurant twice a month for two years to take advantage of the £12 deal and the management said that they were fed up with their lack of manners and the fact that they ate too much each time!

“Obviously we’ve paid the £12 for the buffet and it says you can have as much as you like, but apparently five bowls was over the top as far as he was concerned.” said one of the ‘evictees’.

However, the restaurant manager said: ‘Basically these two guys just come in and pig out. I have put up with them for two years but have had enough.’They spoil it for everyone else and are in such a hurry to get to the food so none of the other diners can get a look in. We are not a charity. We are a business. It is our restaurant and we can tell people not to come back if we want to.’

‘The customer is always right’ is one of those mantras that is banded about and I don’t think it’s true!

The ‘right’ customer is always right, and sometimes it’s ok to say ‘No’! Now, I’m not suggesting that you start ringing up and hurling abuse at the customers you don’t like, but make sure your efforts are focussed on the ones that you want to work with!

Our research suggests that 3D businesses ‘Choose’Em or Lose ‘Em – they focus on the customers they want to work with. They are also not afraid to turn the ‘wrong’ customers down or away. (It’s an ingredient of Characteristic #2 Establish A Dramatic Difference!).

I have highlighted something like this before – McDonalds in Leyland and Staniforths Bakers in Barnsley.are two simple examples of ‘Choosing ‘Em or Losing ‘Em’. Customers that simply don’t make commercial sense for you are not the customers you want – they are your ‘wrong’ customers, particularly if they have a detrimental effect on the customers you do want to work with.

Do you know who your ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ customers are? What does ‘wrong’ mean? Well that’s obviously different for every business, but the key bit is identifying what it means for yours. Research by KPMG identified that over half of UK businesses could not accurately identify their profitable products and customers. Do you know where your profits come from?

So 3 questions:

  • Do you focus on the customers you WANT to work on in your sales and marketing efforts?
  • Do your people know who those customers are?
  • Do they have ‘permission’ to say ‘No’?

Remember, if you keep bending over backwards for those ‘greedy’ customers, you may well fall over!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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