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Common Questions and Answers
Around two decades ago, it became popular to train employees that the customer is always right. This mantra helped to swing the pendulum from supplier dominance to customer dominance. Unfortunately, the pendulum has swung too far. While the sentiment is still true, we must now define the words, “the” and “right”.
The customer can no longer mean anyone who does business with us. Increasingly, some of the most demanding customers are the least profitable. If employees bend over backwards for these customers, it will not be long before they completely erode your bottom line. Not every customer is right for every business.
Every business has its own unique DNA. This chemistry makes it a natural fit for some customers, but not for others. Sales people must be trained to recognize “right-fit” customers, versus “poor-fit” customers. It doesn’t mean that they must never do business with poor-fit customers. It does mean, however, they must limit their company’s investments in these types of customers.
Conversely, when a relationship with a “right-fit” customer is secured, you must be willing to make the appropriate investments, innovations and adaptations to remain on-goingly relevant to this customer. Here are some criteria that you can apply to discern if “the” customer is “right” for your business:
If you train your people to discern between right-fit and poor-fit customers, and to limit the investment in poor-fit customers, you’ll find a renewed energy in your business. Your right-fit customers will infuse enthusiasm in your business. Your employees will “click” with them. Surprisingly, they will also cost less for you to service. The right customer is always right!
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