This is not the post you think it is…
Today I ask you a question – Can you fire your customers? I say YES! I have always felt like this, and many people, past and present in my life, can attest to my willingness to let go. I do not believe in the “service” business. I believe in a co-op of happy employees, happy customers, and happy owners. The happiness of the co-op leads to a happy environment and a successful business. I especially believe this is true in the fitness and yoga world. As I always say, “I am not running a monopoly, I am not Comcast cable, there are many options in the means of fitness and yoga studios in Denver. There really is no need for a customer or a teacher to stick around unless they are happy.” Take this from me; you do not want unhappy people hanging around your business. Energy is contagious, it spreads like a mad-burning wildfire, and that energy is directly related to the success of your business.
I feel okay with posting today’s entrepreneur inspiration after seeing this post and video on Tony Robbin’s Facebook page. Like I said in yesterday’s blog, I love it when the good word begins to spread…
So, yes, I agree with firing your customers. I do not believe in the crazy philosophy of, “the customer is always right.” No they are not, but we have trained them to believe that they are.
When a customer contacts me and is angry about changes made to the studio, the schedule, my style of teaching, etc. I simply say thank you for being a customer at QiFlow. I do not give refunds, nor do I apologize for their upset-ness.
Running a business is difficult, but it’s more difficult if you follow the age-old adage of the customer is always right. Think about it, some, not all, there are still more good customers than bad (thank God), but they all know that if they are unhappy all they have to do is be the person who complains the loudest and/or threaten to review you on Yelp, that you, the business owner, has no choice but to refund, discount, and/or upgrade.
I can’t run my business like this, nor can I live my life like this. I am not scared of Yelp because I don’t look at Yelp. I don’t manage it and I don’t care what reviews we have. Other people’s opinions are, in my opinion, is what is wrong with society these days. We have to move away from the philosophy that the customer is always right.
What we should do is start rewarding the good ones, the ones that you feel a kinship with, the ones that you love deeply.
Yes, I love my students. I can’t help but to fall in love with them over time. I love the ones that come more than once before they judge my teaching methods. I love the ones that support me and the teachers of QiFlow. I love the ones that take the time to get to know us, and I love the ones that love us back just as fiercely.
These are the customers that give you constructive feedback, the kind of feedback that you can utilize to make business better for them…better for the good ones, not the ones that feel entitled and use threats against you. I will listen and make adjustments for the customers and teachers that stand by me and support my business and brand. But, just as I listen to the feedback of the customers that love me, and yes, they do give me feedback, I will also listen to the ones that complain about my business. I listen and learn from the complaints and negative feedback. I know that I make mistakes in business, I make mistakes every day, but there is feedback that you can work with and then there is feedback that holds the potential to destroy you, your confidence, and your business.
If a customer is unhappy about something that you can’t change or wish to change about your business model, then you can’t keep them as customers. You are an entrepreneur, you have a vision and you have a future for your brand, if you listen to the handful of people who don’t get you or your brand, then you are doing your business and community a disservice.
It’s time for a revolution…the customer is not alway right and neither is the business owner. No one is ever right. There is no right or wrong. What feels right for one doesn’t feel right for the other, and vice versa. If you don’t like how something is done, move on. If you are not happy, keep it to yourself. Spread the good word. And always remember…”You don’t have to be right, you only have to be kind.” – Wayne Dyer.
Subscribe and receive all of D’s latest posts