Is it Ok to Turn Away Customers to Save Your Reputation?

I recently heard a story from a mother that was at her wits end because her 1 yr old child wasn’t sleeping at all. After trying everything, she enrolled in a very well known sleep school. Unfortunately her child wasn’t receptive to the sleep school’s methods so she was advised to wait six months to see if his sleep patterns changed, if not then she should try another stint in this sleep school. 

Six months passed and still sleep deprived this poor mother called the sleep school to re-enrol. The sleep school remembered her child, which could be considered good customer service but then they told her they would call her back and never did. You see this sleep school has a very high success rate and if they let this child attend again and they still can’t get him sleeping then their success rate drops. 

Is this fair? I don’t think so. While it’s important for a company to have a good reputation and to be able to boast a high success rate, is it not more important to offer the services you advertise? What’s the point in being the best in your field if you’re turning customers away because they may harm your reputation. If you persevere maybe you and the customer will have the desired outcome. Wouldn’t it be great to boast that you had to try a few times but in the end you achieved the impossible?

I guess my point is, don’t look at the black and white of the situation, look at the grey area. A not so perfect customer or situation maybe a real boon for your business or reputation.