Theorem 1: Customers are not enemies.
Theorem 2: They are not friends either.
Theorem 3: Customer may seem friendly in the beginning, and end up being worst nightmare and dreaded enemy.
Customer, if they are enemy in the very beginning, you may not be able to work with/for them. So the corollary to 3rd theorem is out from our discussion.
Who is a customer? They may not necessarily consume outcome of any activity, so may not be a consumer. Or, they will consume and end up being the consumer also. Whatever it may be, they have need/want for products/services or both. You may be fulfilling it directly or through contractors or sub contractors or even sub sub contractors, or even as a freelancer. In all cases, they are your customer. There will be a scope (what you are supposed to do, or that which defines your actions), there will be a timeline (schedule) and cost involved (money/asset needed to fulfill actions). All of these 3 ingredients or dimensions can be used to confirm compliance as well as your progress towards achieving the customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is bound through contractual agreements and business ethics as well as interests.
Above is the brief technical aspect of a customer and the purpose of their existence. I can add more, but not at this point.
During the process of fulfilling the customer need/want, we have to constantly communicate with customer. Confidence is important. Fear is unnecessary and a potential candidate for failures in relation and attaining the objectives.
Given all these matters, why would anyone fear his/her customer?
- May be for technical reasons, such as, we couldn’t fulfill the promise given (in-terms of scope, cost or schedule, all of them or any of them)
- Biological reasons, such as, when customer gets angry, there is a chance he/she may kill us or eat us or kill and eat us or eat and kill us.
- Financial reasons such as, the customer may dry up our cash flow or reserve by their never ending requirement changes.
- Legal reasons such as, customer may take advantage of legal aspects of contract, and sue us in the court for being unfaithful or incompetent at any point in time during the work/warranty period.
- Business reasons by which we may deep dive to losses while fulfilling the customers needs and wants.
- Social reasons, by which customer may socially isolate us for our failure.
- Ethical reasons by which customer may challenge the whole purpose of our existence as an organization or business entity.
List of reasons can go endless, but my point is, fearing customer for any of these reasons will reduce the effect of the outcome?
So, let’s sing a song..
….Never lie to your lawyer, never hide to your doctor, never fear your Customer…🎶