Recently my client realized that he had fallen into a category of companies that he never thought he would fall into. It was eye-opening for both of us.. This client began to see how the company started to refer to its clients as “victims,” like other companies did. These clients are referred to as victims because the companies fiscally take advantage of them.
Unfortunately, in Mexico this type of behavior is very common. In Mexico, where laws are a bit grey, it is necessary to live defensively or be taken advantage of.
Anyone who has ever lived or done business in Mexico knows that many others share similar stories. Think of all of the companies you feel have taken advantage of you in the same type of situation. Although the example herein is a Mexican company, this type of company exists in the US and elsewhere. Allow this blog to serve as a reminder of what kind of company you want to be and how you want to serve your clients.
I have been loyal to the services of the aforementioned company for many years. There are several suppliers for this company’s service. However, none of them are better than the other one. After researching the various service providers, I have realized that they all provide the same services, just with a different brands, prices, products, types of employees and bad habits. I then select a service provider based on which company’s bad habits I am able to best tolerate. All of these companies accept pesos or dollars. Nevertheless, they dictate their own exchange rate, which is a higher exchange rate than any bank. (Banks do not have good exchange rates, and you always lose some money.)
On top of losing on the exchange rate, these companies charge an additional percentage rate if you pay with a credit card. Imagine you are at a fast food restaurant. You are about to pay for your meal when the cashier notices you plan to pay with a credit card. He tells you, “Sir, if you are going to pay with a credit card, let me refresh your total, which is 5% more.” Really?! Talk about a lose-lose situation—not only am I losing on the exchange rate, but because I am paying with a credit card, I have to also pay more.
It is troubling how companies get away with this behavior as there isn’t a single credit card company—not even American Express—that charges the business five percent per transaction. This is why these companies that take advantage of their clients/customers refer to them as “victims”.
These companies may know their business is at risk due to some upcoming law changes; therefore, they are adapting. Instead of adapting to survive and grow, they are adapting with the mindset of knowing they are going to be out of business in a year so they want to make as much money as they can, by way of taking advantage of their clients/customers, or “victims.”
I recommend a different way of adapting in this business situation. Luckily for my client, I am able to coach and guide him on changing this behavior in his company. I took this opportunity to challenge his thinking to allow him to see it from a different perspective, and to see what positive results he would achieve by making this change.
A simply healthy alternative is to treat your clients as clients, as if they are your friends. This treatment is contagious and will boost word of mouth and the company’s reputation. Without clients, you wouldn’t have a business, therefore treat them with the same respect as you would treat a greatly valued friend or loved one. If you treat your customers right, they won’t be your clients or customers, they will be raving fans. They will choose your services or products, talk about them positively, and they will be satisfied paying for the best quality of services or products.
Do you have raving fans? Or victims?
This is your choice. It is not all about the profit.