0 argument

In a break from convention (a change is as good as a rest), I have decided this morning to write a ‘blogette’ – a short blog post (story) about customer loyalty. The story is inspired by one of my social media gurus – the only problem, is that I am not sure which one! It is likely that it was one of the people featured in this article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vala-afshar/the-top-100-most-social-c_b_3652508.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003&utm_content=buffer98404&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer. Whoever it was, I thank you for the inspiration!

The inspiration came from a quote. The quote sounded something like this:

There is no point winning an argument if as a result you lose a customer

It is (in my opinion) a very thought provoking quote. It makes me think of all the times I have interacted with organisations who have either argued with me, or disbelieved my point of view. One such event happened yesterday. My parents were visiting the Golding clan for the weekend. Before they returned to London, they very kindly wanted to treat us all to dinner. We decided to visit a lovely pub local to Chester. As there were seven of us, and because we know the seating area in the pub is small, we decided to book a table – we did not want to risk turning up, only to find out there was no space available.

On phoning the pub, we were told (politely I might add), that ‘we do not accept table bookings’. A relatively long conversation followed. We explained that we were a large group. We explained that my parents had a long drive back to London and that we could not risk not getting  a table. Even when they advised that they were not that busy ‘at the moment’, there was still no budging. WE DO NOT TAKE TABLE BOOKINGS was the stance, and there was absolutely no chance they were going to change their mind.

So can you guess what happened? I reckon most of you will have guessed correctly. Yesterday evening, this particular pub lost out on 7 meals and a couple of rounds of drinks. They can obviously afford to lose that kind of custom. It is very likely the next time we decide to go out for a meal, we will not even consider that establishment as a possible location. They won their argument, but very much list an customer! Was it worth it? You decide.

0 rules

I completely acknowledge the need for rules and policies. However, the best organisations – and when I mean best I mean the ones that are the most customer centric – the ones who genuinely put customers before anything else – are the ones who are willing to break the rules to do what is right for the customer. I am reminded by a famous quote from Sir Richard Branson:

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling  over, and it’s because you fall over that you learn to save yourself from  falling over.”

So think about that quote the next time you are either having an argument with a customer, or when you are the customer being argued with – is it really worth it?

Normal service (i.e. a normal length blog post) will be resumed later this week.