When you are in consulting you will occasionally come across those times when you have a client who is absolutely wrong and refuses to understand the right way. This is a situation known as no-win and one which you will discover what you’re made of. There are two ways to handle this situation:
- Support the client down their wrong way of thinking simply to keep them happy.
- Continue pushing back and not support the wrong way.
If you follow the first, you’re essentially doing anything you can to keep getting a check. Even the argument of “I’m only doing it so that I stay involved and minimize the damage” is insincere. Sure, there’s always compromises possible and trying to find the best available option given the situation you are in – but down that road is bullet 2. Supporting someone to keep going in a way that will only lead to a bad outcome is never right.
Customer Service in this instance insists on telling the customer that they are not right. Our job isn’t to be happy and supportive, it’s to help our clients reduce costs and/or increase profits. Anything that goes against those two missions is not in the client’s best interests. And as soon as we are going against the client’s best interests we’re no longer neutral consultants there to help, we’re now active participants in the situation simply trying to increase our own revenue stream. That’s part of where the big financial institutions went wrong this decade.
I’m not saying to throw up your hands and not try to help. Simply put, do right.