Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Are some of your customers a "gimme pig"? when is the customer wrong?

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  • May 2nd, 2011 1:16 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2002
2155 posts
451 upvotes

Are some of your customers a "gimme pig"? when is the customer wrong?

Do you have clients that are "gimme pigs"? Basically, a "gimme pig" is someone who feels entitled to get more than they rightfully deserve from the company.

http://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/demandi ... -03242011/

From this list, 1 and 5 is so very true and is my definition of a gimme pig.

1. You think complaining is a good way to get free stuff

A few of our clients think that they need to complain to get the company to give them a break in prices/services. It is totally not true. Do you complain/threaten your family or friends to get something out of them? of course not. Common courtesy goes a LONG way in our company and we bend over backwards for our clients that treat us like friends.

5. You really believe the customer is “always” right

This is not true: customers are not always right and learning when to say so is critical in protecting your business and your reputation. Many small businesses can't say "no" because of fear of losing precious revenue. You can't satisfy everyone and nor should you try. Take a look at this link:

http://www.mint.com/blog/trends/custome ... -03172011/

number 1 could not be stressed enough. When your client makes an assumption without consulting with the company and that assumption is incorrect, they are wrong and you shouldn't feel like you owe the customer anything. Of course, reasonable assumptions (such as gas in a newly bought car) are not really assumptions that I'm talking about. The ones that I'm talking about are more like cruise control or bluetooth in a car.

Having said all of this, I am assuming that your business prides itself as being honest and fair to your clients. You need to look introspectively before you are in a position to defend your business practices. In the end, the big takeaway is that you cannot satisfy EVERY customer nor is the customer always right. Find those who value your product/service and concentrate on servicing them. You'll find that 20% of your customers (ie, the good ones) will provide you with 80% of your profit. Eliminate the 20% that create the 80% of your problems.
11 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 28, 2011
3835 posts
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The customer is almost always wrong unless they clearly define the product or service they want upfront.

If they clearly ask for chicken sandwich on rye, and they get a tuna sandwich on white bread, then the customer is right.

If they demand their money back because they thought there would be no dark meat in the sandwich, or they don't like mayonnaise and they didn't say anything, they are wrong for assuming.

I mean unless the picture of the chicken sandwich on display clearly shows a whole breast of white chicken, with absolutely no condiments on the bun at all.

So just don't sell people "happiness", "satisfaction", or "bliss" and then you should be okay right? Sell them real things that are measurable.

Instead of selling someone the "best time of their life", sell them a ticket to get somewhere.

Instead of selling someone a "better life", sell them nutritional drinks.
Deal Addict
Mar 8, 2009
1420 posts
109 upvotes
So many people try getting stuff for free from my company or a discount. Once, I had a customer come in for a service which his wife reserved and prepaid over the phone. When he arrived, he wasn't happy with the package she purchased. I made him aware of the 2nd option that was available to her and that I would be happy to switch to the 2nd option if he wanted to pay the difference. He didn't want option 1 and he didn't want option 2. So I offered him a full refund even though we have a no refund policy. He didn't want a refund either, so I asked what he wanted and he wanted a custom discounted price somewhere between option 1 and 2 which didn't even exist.

When I asked him why he felt entitled to a discounted rate, he said because of the mix up. I told him there was no mix up, his wife had two options, she picked 1 and not 2 and I was happy to switch him to option 2 or give him back his money. He accused me of suggesting that his wife was stupid and it was getting really bad. At the end of all this he switched to option 2 and said he would never come back and tell all his friends about the bad service we provided.
Member
May 20, 2009
257 posts
1 upvote
Prairies
There is a certain percentage of clients that you will never be able to satisfy no matter how much you try. The resources wasted on these (could be 5%) clients could be better spent elsewhere.
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User avatar
Aug 20, 2010
287 posts
75 upvotes
Andex wrote:
Apr 23rd, 2011 10:48 pm
So many people try getting stuff for free from my company or a discount.

We get that ALOT.
We make and sell masks, latex prosthetics and costume pieces. So it's already a limited niche market. The only time we have "regular" people buy items is for Halloween. Otherwise, most of our customers are those doing theatrical shows, media productions and costumers.
So there's always a sigh in the back of my mind when I get an email from someone stating they're with X charity, X school, X church, X group, and want to know if we offer discounts specifically to them. Heard it from US army people, from boy scouts, tons of schools, christian organizations, etc. Everyone wants a discount because they think their group is special, but we already mostly cater to their groups anyways.
The only discounts I offer them is based on quantity of items then want, across the board, it's the only fair way to handle it.

What was the general service you were providing that the customer got so angry about?
Deal Fanatic
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Aug 16, 2007
6806 posts
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There are two types of people who ask for discounts, one the generally polite people, who I usually accommodate (by telling them/hinting "You should watch our video on youtube, something tells me there is a 5% promo code at the end"), and then the people who straight out say "What type of discount are you going to give me?". I tell these people nothing (usually) as we're already the lowest price by a mile.

Customer knowledge goes a long way - I've recently dealt with a horrible case where the customer didn't know what we even do - they placed a $500 order thinking we did something that is completely different then what we actually do. When I attempted to give them what they wanted, I was doing it all "wrong" and they weren't happy (Of course you're not - you have no idea what we do!). In the end I fixed it, but it resulted in over 40 hours of my time being spent on this order on top of the $500 in revenue they provided us. And one Better Business Bureau complaint (which I could care less about, but is a pain in the ass)

Now when ever I even get a hint of a customer not really understanding what they get or what we do I explain it in such mind boggling detail that they can't not get it. I'm far more pickier with clients now and don't mind telling customers that we aren't the right option for them - this angers people as again we're the least expensive, but the only way I can provide top notch service to the majority of customers is by not having huge amounts of time spent dealing with avoidable situations.

All it does is raise my stress levels and lower my turn around times - nothing good comes of taking on those customers.
Banned
Jul 8, 2009
4006 posts
125 upvotes
PennyArcade wrote:
Apr 22nd, 2011 2:28 am
Do you have clients that are "gimme pigs"? Basically, a "gimme pig" is someone who feels entitled to get more than they rightfully deserve from the company.

http://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/demandi ... -03242011/

From this list, 1 and 5 is so very true and is my definition of a gimme pig.

1. You think complaining is a good way to get free stuff

A few of our clients think that they need to complain to get the company to give them a break in prices/services. It is totally not true. Do you complain/threaten your family or friends to get something out of them? of course not. Common courtesy goes a LONG way in our company and we bend over backwards for our clients that treat us like friends.

5. You really believe the customer is “always” right

This is not true: customers are not always right and learning when to say so is critical in protecting your business and your reputation. Many small businesses can't say "no" because of fear of losing precious revenue. You can't satisfy everyone and nor should you try. Take a look at this link:

http://www.mint.com/blog/trends/custome ... -03172011/

number 1 could not be stressed enough. When your client makes an assumption without consulting with the company and that assumption is incorrect, they are wrong and you shouldn't feel like you owe the customer anything. Of course, reasonable assumptions (such as gas in a newly bought car) are not really assumptions that I'm talking about. The ones that I'm talking about are more like cruise control or bluetooth in a car.

Having said all of this, I am assuming that your business prides itself as being honest and fair to your clients. You need to look introspectively before you are in a position to defend your business practices. In the end, the big takeaway is that you cannot satisfy EVERY customer nor is the customer always right. Find those who value your product/service and concentrate on servicing them. You'll find that 20% of your customers (ie, the good ones) will provide you with 80% of your profit. Eliminate the 20% that create the 80% of your problems.

The most profitablecustomers tend to be the most picky ones, if you do not satisfy your customers you will not be able to distinguish or get them. You can't blame the client for making assumptions about your product/store because there are billions of products and no customer can possible know every stores policy its your job to inform them reasonably. Customers are always right because even when they aree wrong you will be bad mouthed behind your back and that will cost you
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Feb 28, 2011
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jungeon wrote:
Apr 29th, 2011 11:18 pm
The most profitablecustomers tend to be the most picky ones, if you do not satisfy your customers you will not be able to distinguish or get them. You can't blame the client for making assumptions about your product/store because there are billions of products and no customer can possible know every stores policy its your job to inform them reasonably. Customers are always right because even when they aree wrong you will be bad mouthed behind your back and that will cost you

Picky people will bad mouth you behind your back whether or not you bend to their will. In any event, it's not about who is right or who is wrong, it is about who has the time and the money.

People that demand a discount, versus people who demand more, the people who demand more are definitely the better client as they see value in the product or service. The picky ones are in it for control and depending on the product or service they might not be a good choice, especially if they have no money and they use your time.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2002
2155 posts
451 upvotes
jungeon wrote:
Apr 29th, 2011 11:18 pm
The most profitablecustomers tend to be the most picky ones, if you do not satisfy your customers you will not be able to distinguish or get them. You can't blame the client for making assumptions about your product/store because there are billions of products and no customer can possible know every stores policy its your job to inform them reasonably. Customers are always right because even when they aree wrong you will be bad mouthed behind your back and that will cost you

It is just as much the company's responsibility to inform the client as it is for the client to know what they are getting. There is nothing wrong with making assumptions. However, I can "blame" the client for making a wrong assumption. For example, if a client assumes that the car comes with alloy rims and it comes with steelies, sorry, but you should have asked and you are wrong for making that assumption. There is no need to "compensate" the client for their incorrect assumption.

As for the threat of bad mouthing: the simple thing is to simply offer a refund once you understand that they are not satisfied. Even if you do what they ask for, some will still bad mouth you, much like Andex's post.
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Oct 4, 2006
2466 posts
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Burlington
The customer is not always right. It is the responsibility of the customer and company to ensure their needs are met and that everything is clear. For my company we provide an invoice for confirmation that breaks down the customers order to ensure that everything is clear. We also have our general policies posted on our website to be made clear to everyone.

Some customers will try to do anything for a discount and its kinda funny. I had a parent come in about a month ago looking at costumes we had ready made in stock (we do custom work and have limited stock). She didn't approach me and ask if it would be possible to get a discount she just grabbed a costume and said I want this for $250.00. The costume being about $320.00 I offered 20% off only because it was in stock and it basically comes out as free money to us since they've already been made and I don't need to fit in the booking schedule. She has her daughter try it on while still saying $250.00 constantly as if I said yes to that then finds out the costume is a bit small. So instead she decides that she really likes the design and wants to have it made new. I let her know that's fine however I can't offer a 20% discount on a new costume. I explain to her the options on how to lower the cost of the costume and say I can discount the tax because it seemed like she was trying to pinch pennies a bit so I felt bad. She follows up by saying she needs it in 2 weeks along with ignoring the option suggestions I recommended and even going as far as adding additional options to the costume, some being rather expensive options. During this time she is still going on and saying "$250.00". The changes she requests puts the costume closer to a $375-400.00 mark and even after trying to explain this to her she kept saying "I want to pay $250.00 for this". At some point you need to bring the customer back to reality that you can't just doing things for free because they want you too. Doing customized work takes time and money for labour costs. Considering we don't outsource our work it does cost a fair bit in terms of employment costs to get things done.

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