Shep Hyken

By Shep Hyken

Customers Matter… All of Them

Customers Matter… All of Them 150 150 Shep Hyken

I love jokes, and there’s one that is quite well-known, especially in the dental world. A client walks into the office and sits in the chair. As he is getting his teach cleaned, he asks his dentist, “Which teeth should I floss?” The dentist replies to him, “Only the ones you want to keep.”

You should look at your customers in the exact same way. 

There’s no such thing as a bad customer. They’re all good. Well, maybe not each and every customer is good. But for argument’s sake, and for this article, we are going to act as though every customer who wants to do business with you is a customer you would like to do business with. Let’s pretend this is a perfect world.

In this perfect world, all customers are good. However, there are still certain customers who are better than others. The reasons behind this vary, but it could be because they visit us more regularly, or because they spend more money each time they come in. Perhaps they are just more pleasant. Whatever the reason, some are simply a bit better than the average “good” customer.

When we use the teeth metaphor, it almost sounds ridiculous. Would you rather keep the front teeth, which are seen by everyone? Or would you like to keep the ones in the back that help you chew your food? Obviously, you want to keep them all. The same can be said of your customers. They are all valuable, they are all needed, and we should want to keep them all.

Your loyal customers are most likely the ones who are connected emotionally. Perhaps they feel like the employees treat them like friends. Maybe they feel comforted knowing they will receive a predictable and consistent experience, every single time. Many things beyond product and price connect customers to a company.

On the opposite end, we all have those customers we don’t see or hear form very often. Maybe when they do give us a sale, it’s a small one. But, they still come back from time to time. That makes them good customers, just as much as the ones who come more regularly and spend more money.

I once bought a dress shirt from a salesman at a men’s clothing store. It was on sale. Realizing my purchase was small, I commented, “Maybe next time I’ll see a sport coat or suit I like.” The salesperson smiled and said, “If I had 500 customers just like you, I’d be the happiest salesperson in the store.” He told me that he likes customers who walk out of the store happy, regardless of how much they spend, because he knows they will come back. He was right. I did go back, and I bought a suit. And, I’ve been buying clothes from him ever since.

The exact lesson that I am trying to teach, this guy had figured out and mastered. It didn’t matter how much money I had spent that first time. It was that I represented one of his customers. The point here is that you should be taking care of all of your customers. The small ones matter just as much as the big ones. Everyone, regardless of how much they spend, should feel happy, respected, and appreciated.

And, remember, be sure to floss your teeth. All of them!

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