Monday, August 4, 2014

Sometimes the customer is a moron

Ever heard the phrase "The customer is always right."

You know who invented that phrased? Customers that complain a lot and always try to get their way. (And then whine about it when they don't get their way.)

Truth be told, if you've ever worked in the service industry (doesn't matter what sector, any kind of service will do) you eventually meet a customer who starts demanding freebies, exceptions to the rule, and complains very loudly.

We all do it sometimes, especially when the situation warrants it.

But when you are on the receiving end of a customer who is verbally abusive (and I would argue "crazy") and thinks that they are entitled to an exception to your company policy, well then you have one solution.

Tell the customer to leave and take their business elsewhere.

Why? Because sometimes dealing with crazy customers just isn't worth it.

True, bending over backwards for customers makes for great customer service relationships. But sometimes customers are just demanding things that they have no entitlement for.

Take for example a dentist who receives people on an appointment basis. What happens when you don't show up for your appointment?

Well, the dentist charges you a fee because you missed your appointment and didn't show up. (And this fee is not covered by insurance by the way. YOU pay the fee if you miss the appointment.)

So imagine for example if the dentist gets a crazy person who refuses to pay the fee for missing their appointment, what do you think the dentist will do?

Answer - Refuse to serve that person until they agree to pay the fee. Why? Because they have Term of Service agreement wherein if you agree to schedule a cleaning for your teeth, then you are automatically agreeing to a ToS that says you also agree to pay any fees if you miss your appointment.

And such Terms of Service are normal for many industries. Dentists, personal trainers, massage therapists, basically anyone who works on an appointment basis.

On the other hand some businesses are more products based - and products come with warranties.

So for example if you go to an Audiologist in Mississauga and you purchase a Clarity XL-30 Amplified Telephone (a special telephone for people who have hearing difficulties), well then it comes with an one year warranty from the manufacturer.

Which means as long as the warranty is still good, you're fine. The manufacturer covers the cost of replacing or fixing your telephone. Which means the hearing clinic in Mississauga will be fine with providing you with full service to help you to fix or replace your phone. If however your warranty has expired, then they just have to point to the warranty and give you two options:

1. Pay to have it sent to the manufacturer and have it repaired.

2. Buy a new telephone with a new warranty.

Places like the above mentioned audiologist / hearing clinic always have great records for customer service - largely because they have warranties, receipts, records of clients, and they don't work on an appointment basis. If someone is late for showing up to purchase hearing aids or special telephones for the hearing impaired, or if they forget to show up, do you know what happens? The customer shows up later eventually anyway and it changes nothing for the audiologist working there.

But for the poor dentist or anyone working on a strict appointment based schedule, they don't just have appointments - they have a freaking WAITING ROOM with magazines and other things to keep you occupied. So you go there for your appointment, and then you WAIT for the dentist to be ready for you.

And if you don't show up, well then you get charged a fee.

At which point you have to wonder, what percentage of dentist customers complain about the extra fee for missing their cleaning, because the vast majority of people just nod, realize they are in the wrong, and then pay the fee.

It is really just the 1% of customers out there who want to be "squeaky wheels who get the grease" who would refuse to pay the fee.

At which point the dentist - or more precisely, the secretary working for the dentist - points to the Terms of Service agreement in the Fine Print.

At which point only a very small percentage of crazy / cheap people will complain about it. The chances of meeting one of these people is multiplied by the number of cheap people out there, multiplied by the percentage of people who feel they are entitled, and multiplied again by the number of people who like to argue and complain loudly until they are blue in the face.

In other words (since we are dealing with small percentages) the final number is pretty small and very rare.

But when you meet one of those crazy customers you understand and realize the same thing:

Those people are freaking lunatics.

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