Dissing a customer does your soul good!

13 Jul, '03

Most of my customers are return customers. This is excellent. I would rather have just a few customers like this than some I have met who believe and practice the “win-lose” scenarios.

The “returners” all practice the “win-win” ideology. They fully realize that in order for us to continue to provide them with excellent service and best prices, we have to be rewarded with reasonable profit and involve us in their decisions as early as possible, so we become not just their preferred suppliers but consultants as well.. The others do the usual run-around and get quotations from the whole world and come back to us and tell us what our pricing should be! More than that, procrastination is the norm for them.

They assume that as we are local, we must be more expensive than the rest of the world and in most instances they just go ahead and buy from the cheapest supplier they can find on the internet. We “discover” that they have a system installed when they come crawling to us begging for service when something goes wrong, and we discover that they actually paid a lot more than our list prices. We just tell them to go get support from where ever they purchased their systems from. You should see their attitude then. A dog with its tail between its legs looks prouder!

I had two recent experiences of prospects who truly believe in win-lose, one as recent as this morning. Then I came across the Garfield cartoon above and that sums up my feelings for the ideal situation that these “enlightened” people live by. They happily think that no matter what you do to your vendor, he will come back crawling for more abuse! Admittedly they have never experienced me! I have turned away more prospective customers than taking on-board and I am really happy about that.

Sure we need the turn-over like any other company, but from experience, bad customers will cost more to maintain in the long run and no matter what you do, in their eyes you never do enough. They think that they own you for life because they bought something from you.

Yet the very same people would not hesitate at all from buying expensive equipment from sometimes shady dealers in the States, Europe, the Far East or even Dubai! They bend over backwards to please that dealer giving in to threats etc, pay 100% upfront and not complain too much when they find that they in fact received second-hand equipment for new and would refer others to the same dealer for more. They also know subconsciously that when they experience a problem and require technical support they will never reach any resolution, hence will have to spend more money to get their equipment fixed. In the mean time they cannot produce anything therefor the source of income dries up.

A lot of Bahrainis have this problem. Generally assuming that local companies are there to grab their money and run. That local companies just cannot provide them with excellent timely support.

Still, I’m glad that with the few customers – who are really our partners more than customers – that we have, we make a good enough living. Had we depended on these people with inferiority complex, we would not have survived this long.

Filed in: General

Comments (2)

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  1. mahmood says:

    ha! the whiskey did it’s job!

    now I’m just enjoying peeling my nose! (ouch!!)

    thanks for the donation (again!) you needn’t do that Mark!

  2. Rickardo says:


    Mark, did you get my email? Sorry it took so long to answer. My computer’s been fritzy lately so I wasn’t sure it actually went out.


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