The Problem of Nice Customers
I've spent a lot of time working with customer service people in all kinds of organisations. I often start by asking them to give me words to describe the kind of customers they would like to serve. I get all kind of answers to this question, such as -
Rich, Friendly, Profitable, Forgiving, Loyal, Discerning, and very often they just say....nice customers.
Nice is a great word to use. It conjures up warm feelings and thoughts about doing business with people you like to do business with.
But then I issue a warning about 'nice' customers, by reading out the following (fictitious) letter. It's from a nice customer.
I'm a nice customer. You all know me, I'm the one who never complains - no matter what kind of service I get.
I'll go into a restaurant and always sit quietly, even if the waiters and waitresses are too busy gossiping to notice me and ask if anyone's taken my order. Sometimes, other people come in after me and get served before me. But I don't complain. I just sit patiently and wait.
And when I go to a store to buy something, I don't throw my weight around. I always try to be thoughtful of the other person. So if a snooty salesperson gets upset because I want to to look at several things before making up my mind, I'm just as polite as can be. I don't think that rudeness in return is the answer.
I never moan. I never nag. I never criticise. I never complain. And I wouldn't dream of making a scene, like I've seen some people do in public places. No, I think that's uncalled for.
That's all because I'm a nice customer. Oh, but I should tell you what else I am........
I'm a customer who never comes back!
So perhaps we don’t want Nice customers; what we really need is customers who can be described with words like -
Open, Honest, Bold, and Assertive.
These are customers who would always tell us if things weren't right. Then we'd be able to do something about it. We could put it right, make sure it didn't happen again, and so make sure they are customers that do come back!
© Copyright Chris Daffy