“The customer is always right.”
This motto or slogan has been in existence for more than a century and is one of the most popular in the business world. Some companies strictly practice this, some only to a certain extent, and some completely ignoring it.
Is the customer indeed always right? Some companies and most customers will take the meaning literally. They would expect that the customer is never wrong and whatever the customer wants, the customer gets. This is the problem with this motto or slogan. Some people tend to take its meaning to the letter. No buts, no ifs.
Let’s look at it in a different perspective. The customer is always right, but not always correct.
The dilemma with some customers is that they are not always sure what they want. What makes it worse is when a store employee tries to assist this customer, he/she may pretend that he/she knows what to get and may most likely make up answers to questions in order not to get embarrassed. Some would even go to the extent of purchasing whatever was recommended by the store employee even if it’s not what he/she wants or needs.
And there are customers who will insist that they know what they want and know what they are talking about even if what they think they want isn’t right. It maybe because of lack of knowledge about the product, pride, or not wanting to get embarrassed. Whatever the reason is, this type of customer will be very difficult to handle and would normally escalate to an undesirable experience for both the customer and the store employee.
It’s true that your customers are you most valuable asset, but it doesn’t mean that they tell you how you run your business. Instead, they are your partners. It’s a partnership of give and take… not just give and give or take and take. Sometimes you will need to give in and sometimes you just have to say no.
In most situations, customers are right and correct. However, there are some situations that they are not correct. This is mostly true with customers who lie, are abusive, unreasonable, or just plain rude. These types of customers are bad for your business and need to be addressed immediately and appropriately.
Some customers are susceptible in understanding and realizing that they are not correct and there are some customers who are just rock hard. When the customer is not correct, how your employees handle the situation become very critical. Studies have shown that majority of customer problems/complaints are actually caused by the customers themselves, but with the mindset that the customer is always right, they take it to the manufacturer or the retail store thinking that their “self-caused” problem will be resolved.
No company or employee should ever be afraid to say “No” to a customer if the situation calls for it. Yes, you may lose some customers if you do not give in to their demands, but sometimes it’s better to lose some customers than to have long term unfavorable relationships with them which in the long run may further damage your business. Remember, that there’s no existing company that has never lost a customer. This is a truth that all companies have to accept, but realize that some churns are essential.