“The customer is always right.”

It’s a saying designed as a reminder to do everything possible to make the customer happy. It’s a staple cliche of customer service.

You know this isn’t true, don’t you?

Sometimes the bride or groom misunderstands your instructions. Their opinion may be based on lack of information.

Or you may just have a Bride or Groom Zilla in full rampage on your hands.

Statements like this express the customer-centric model of business.

A customer-centric business makes sure the customer is at the center of the business’ philosophy, operations and ideas.

Way back when we had traveling con artists, sleazy door-to-door salespeople with no social media reviews or government regulation to keep them in check…

The movement towards a customer-centric business was a HUGE improvement in quality and integrity.

At first glance, it seems to make sense.

But here’s the problem with always putting the customer or client first:

You end up creating your clients’ dream business instead of yours.

Let me give you an example of how this almost happened with our wedding DJ business.

Our first clients were traditional couples. Many of them wanted the YMCA, Hawaiian leis and flashing tchotchkes at the wedding.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Really and truly.)

Left to my own devices, I probably would have become a typical party motivator handing out props with a big smile.

Except Jeff, my wedding-DJ-partner-in-crime, would never allow that.

Jeff, the guitar god, would poke out his own eye before you’d catch him handing out inflatable guitars. He refused to do what the clients wanted if it would make him miserable.

(He also absolutely refused to play songs by a certain disco artist who shall remain nameless and it got us into trouble — but that’s a story for another day.)

We gradually began to target hipster couples with eclectic taste in music who wanted non-cheesy entertainment and live acoustic guitar.

If we’d gone down that other road, we might still have created a money-making wedding business…

…that we ended up hating because we felt like fakes.

Let’s be clear:

It IS important to understand what your ideal clients desire and create products and services that deliver that.

However.

It’s critical to design your business to support the life YOU want and the work you love to do first.

Then identify your soulmate clients and create for them second.

If your business is not aligned with your purpose, ideal lifestyle, clients and work, you run the risk of creating a business that saps your energy and a life with no room for you in it.

What if you start with what inspires you and choose from there?

Hey, I get it.

Saying no to clients with money in hand can be a tough decision.

So can creating a one-of-a-kind business designed for YOU…when the marketing guru dijour says that’s not how it’s supposed to be done.

I believe the path to an inspiring, fun, profitable business is to put yourself first.

You’ll have so much more to give your clients when your needs and desires are met.

Warning: you might also end up creating a business that’s radically different from everything else and that breaks all the rules.

But who says that’s a bad thing? 🙂

P.S. Are you feeling frustrated with a business that doesn’t inspire you? Let’s have a Wild Creation chat to see what else is possible.

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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