Customers. And Other Customers. A Balancing Act
Sometimes, customers make it impossible to look after customers.
Let me relate a story. Names and places shall be withheld, for compassionate reasons.
A 'sweet' lady was taking a holiday alone, in a small camper van. She arrived at a busy campsite, where she had pre-booked a pitch. But the pitch was not perfect, for reasons not clearly vocalised by the lady. Keen to be helpful, they offered an alternative pitch. And then another. And another. Until finally she was content. For a couple of days, when she asked to be moved on again - again, trying to be nice, the site agreed. She was due to leave the next day anyway.
Meanwhile, back in the admin office, the logistic pitch reshuffling nightmare was starting to creak. Especially when, instead of vacating the pitch, the lady went for a walk.
Another customer was taking a holiday, in a camper van. They arrived at the busy campsite, where they had pre-booked a pitch. They checked in at the site office, and made their way to their pitch. But on arrival at their pitch they found a small camper van there already, with the owner some distance away, enjoying a walk.
I have left out some steps. But holiday maker two had to wait for some time whilst this was resolved. Three staff became involved in trying to find the lady, and fix the problem - and a queue started to form at the office of the busy camp site.
I am not going to stretch the story, much as it has many amusing anecdotes. But here is my suggestion. Sometimes, telling one customer to move along might help you keep 3 other customers happy. Some customers take up so much energy you have less left for others. And, as was the case here, the energy absorbing customer was still not really happy.
There is no simply rule of thumb. But think about it. Spot the customers who will ruin your business and politely wave them by.
Paul OrangeTree trains and consults in many areas of business management, including customer experience management.