Get What You Paid For
Caveat emptor or “let the buyer beware” is usually within the context of an unknowing buyer signing a bad contract or not performing due diligence when purchasing a big-ticket item. However, sometimes there is an alternate connotation.
Let’s say a client challenges you on a pricing issue. You name a fair and reasonable fee for a service, and after presenting your proposal, your client starts in with unjustified complaints that were never previously brought to your attention.
“I’m not sure why this is so costly. It seems crazy. Oh, and did I mention, the last time I used your widgets I received negative feedback and a few complaints? Also, you didn’t respond as quickly as I thought you would when I had a problem. I’d really like you to re-think this proposal and do a little better for me.” Feeling a bit beaten up, you lower your price and suck up the unfounded complaints.
Secretly, your client is celebrating the fact that he or she “won” the negotiation and got a better price.
But did your client win?
You may be feeling like you were ambushed and attached. We all know how frustrating this is. Moving forward, are you going to provide the same service to your customer this time around? Are you going to strive to be as timely, conscientious, efficient after receiving critical and unfair feedback? You may now have a bad taste in your mouth for this client.
He or she may no longer receive the “priority treatment” they were getting before. After all, why treat them with your usual top-notch customer service when they are never happy?
Perhaps you will decide to charge your client for the little extras you usually threw in for free. It’s completely understandable and legitimate.
Trying to get the best of someone can backfire. Caveat emptor if you use illegitimate complaints and unfounded criticisms with a provider who has always done well by you. Be nice. You’ll get what you paid for.