Customer is the king. Despite this mantra, all of us complain about our clients. When we complain about our customers, we often forget our behaviour when roles are reversed. Are we any less demanding than our customers while we are dealing with our suppliers? We can be as difficult as our customers. Once a friend confessed to the guilty pleasure of dealing with vendors for it gives him an opportunity to behave like his customer.
Recently, I came across a disgruntled customer. The customer has become disillusioned with prices and level of services after years of business with a reputed system integrator. Now they are shopping for a new system integrator. Since I was working for the same customer on a different engagement, I became friendly with various groups of the reputed system integrator. My association with the system integrator was neither in professional interest nor personal interest. Working on the same floor, friendships and casual acquaintances has a way of blooming.
During my association with different groups of the reputed system integrator, I unearthed a finding which baffled me. Whenever the conversation turned to the strained relation between the system integrator and the customer, there was only one statement regardless of which group was involved. "My customer is happy with my services. But they are not happy with the other services being offered." I was confused after talking to all the groups. The individual groups were confident about their service levels and the customer's satisfaction levels. But they were worried about service levels offered by other and the respective customer satisfaction levels.
What is wrong, in this case? Is everyone lying? Or is everyone so naive that they are unable to read between the lines? Is the customer playing games? Or is the customer overly polite while giving out the negative feedback? Whose customer is unhappy?