I’m a big fan of looking at issues from multiple perspectives. So, since I’ve done a post on “Are you and unwanted customer?”, I thought it might be fun to look at “Customers From Hell” this time.
I’m a strong proponent of demanding the highest level of quality and support from stores who want my money. If you don’t ask for the best deal or the best service, you’re unlikely to get it. However, there is a difference from being a “demanding customer” and a “customer from hell”.
Some retailers think anyone without money is a customer from hell. They are welcome to their opinion, but it might be short sighted. It might be better to view people without money as potential future customers not as customers from hell. No, true customers from hell are the ones that commit fraud, theft or just expect a free lunch in a belligerent way. These are the people that store owners need to be prepared for.
There are two perspectives about every sale in the shopping experience, the customer and the retailer. Satisfaction on both sides is the goal, but disagreements must be expected from time to time. Good customer service should kick in when disagreements pop up. Hopefully issues can be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, but sometimes you may have to agree to disagree. The Internet is an excellent place to voice disagreements and bring the power of transparency to shopping. A thoughtful review is much more useful to others than mindless rant. I’m sorry, there is no such thing as a free lunch. It’s not valid to get mad just because you have to pay money for product or service. Although it’s easy to do on the Internet, it makes no sense to me to write personal attacks or throw a temper tantrum on the Internet. Demand the best deal, but don’t be a Customer from Hell.
As for cases of outright fraud and theft, that’s a completely different matter. Unfortunately, there are people out there who pretend to be customers, but who’s true intent is theft. These people not only hurt the stores they steal from, but they also hurt us honest customers indirectly too. In the long run, it’s the honest customers that have to bear the costs of higher prices due to store security and inventory loss. Stores can’t stay in business if they don’t earn a profit. It just makes sense.
I realize good behaviour and cooperation/compromise between customers and retailers is not something that happens all the time. Money tends to attract dishonest and unethical behaviour. However, I am hopeful that a transparent marketplace with the Internet will help shed light on abuses caused by both shoppers and retailers. Let me know if you are as hopeful as I am. 🙂