This may wind up being a bit of a rant as opposed to an article, but the general idea remains the same. Many people are bred into the idea that “the customer is always right”, and in some industries this may very well be the case. However, for the most part, there’s a limit that a business should be willing to concede before they put emphasis in their needs as well as the customers.
For example, let’s say you’re an affiliate network. Your products are the campaigns that your network presents to its affiliates, and your customers are the advertisers and the affiliates. This type of business is very much a customer service role, but there are other elements as well that many “customers” try to take advantage of. Every day affiliates are hammering me for higher payouts on certain campaigns, or lower volume requirements in order for higher payout eligibility, and after a while it just wears on you.
I’ve found that it takes a bit of work in order to generate mutual respect between the customer and the business. This is important because people need to recognize each other for being good at what they do and completely competent in their respective areas. As an affiliate manager I may approach certain affiliates that I feel could run certain volumes, and as an affiliate I may approach my affiliate manager and ask for deviated payouts. However, in both of those roles it’s important to remember that the person on the other end of the monitor is still a person and not a faceless being.
It’s important that both customers and businesses recognize that the relationships that are built are more valuable than an immediate cost savings or a hike in commission. Money made (and spent) over long periods of time signals longevity.
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