Every business has them – customers who are impossible to please. They take and they take, and when you finally draw a line, they react. Oftentimes in an unkind way.
There have been instances in the past where I have been harsh with a business, too harsh. I had such high expectations and expected them to deliver exactly that. If that did not happen, I would make it clear that I was not happy.
Owning my own business has most certainly made me a better consumer. I am more understanding of the people I am interacting with, knowing that – the majority of the time – they are simply doing their best to help me out.
Now, I better understand the work that goes into making our customers happy. I know that my husband and I always try our best, but sometimes things do not end up exactly as we had planned. We make mistakes, we are not perfect – we are human. And when that happens, our hope is that we can work everything out in a kind and understanding manner.
We have also been victim to a customer not paying a substantial amount of money after going above and beyond for them. They instead chose to manipulate and play dirty.
Partly due to that experience, I am stricter on who we will accept as a customer. I choose not to do business with anyone who makes it clear they expect us to cater to their every demand, without question – and even if we are on the losing end of the deal. I choose to engage in business where both parties receive an equal exchange of goods or services, and both parties are respected as such. If a potential customer makes it clear that they do not care about our end of the transaction, we will not work with them.
The business climate has been changing and will continue to change. Business is about working together. It is about treating each other like human beings, rather than a tool for your disposal.
It is possible to run a business with your heart. I know because I’ve done it now for many years – and I will continue to do so as long as I am a business owner or a consumer. I will not make our business about winning and making money at all costs. Remember, we do not have to engage in something damaging simply because it has become normalized. Let’s create a new normal, one business transaction at a time. No matter what industry we are in, I believe these types of transactions are possible – as long as there is integrity across the board.
Given it is the holiday season, I ask you to take a look at how you conduct your business transactions. Speaking to customer service, for example – are you handling the situation with heart knowing there is another human being involved? If you are a business owner/employee – do you truly care about your customers experience, rather than just the bottom line or to meet your year-end goal and get that bonus? If not, what changes can you make beginning today?
We’re all in this together. The least we can do is help each other out.