Your Problem is NOT Your Customer’s Problem

by | Mar 10, 2016


I was on the phone with a trusted vendor the other day, relaying a challenge.  My company sells their line and I wanted to let them know about something that was getting in the way of us selling their brand.  From my perspective, it was a relatively simple fix (maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t).

The problem, I was told, was that the company had a “strict policy” on this matter.  So “no” it could not be changed.  Regardless of what I said, the policy had been set…so no discussion.  I am not a fan of the “we have a policy” answer, but that is not the point of this post.  The point is what was said next.

“We have had lots of comments and complaints about this (policy), but we have been pretty busy with the (fill in the blank) acquisition so that has pretty much taken their time.”

The basic message behind this statement was, “we are dealing with big and important stuff here.  So relax.”

I am a pretty reasonable guy.  So I let it go.  I understand that there are times when you just have too many things going on.  It’s hard to make everything a priority.  I get it.

But the more I thought about it, the more it frustrated me.  You see, the fact that they are busy buying a company that I (as a customer) did not ask them to buy is not my problem.  It’s their problem.  If they want to take over the world, great.  But that does not matter to me…the customer.  And in responding to me in that way, they made me feel less important.  They made me frustrated.

Are you doing that to customers?  Are you so focused on your next project, task, acquisition, etc. that you are pushing customers to the back of the line?

As I said, I understand there are times when we are overwhelmed.  Some things are simply more important than others.  But be careful the message you are telling your customers.  Your problem should not be theirs.

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