There are a few things that we are seemingly taught from birth. The customer is always right is one of these. Doesn’t it seem like common sense? The customer is always right. Never argue with the customer. Accommodate the customer’s needs and wishes in any way possible. These certainly seem like guidelines to running a successful business don’t they ? What a shame that the sentiment that the customer is always right is a false one. There are, in fact, many instances in which the customer is never right. In these cases, adhering to the idea that the customer is always right can be demoralizing at best, and dangerous at worst. Here are a few cases in which the customer is simply wrong.
When Good Employees are Caught in the Crossfire
Sadly, many corporate customer service policies are biased so far in favor of the customer, that good employees are often left feeling demoralized. Imagine being the subject of a dishonest complaint by a customer and knowing that the resolution would involve you being labeled as incompetent, or worse, a liar. This is even worse in large corporations where the person receiving the complaint may be at a call center thousands of miles away with no understanding of the daily operations of that particular location.
When Customers Seek Unfair Reimbursement
Smart business managers know that they should be accommodating to customers who have a complaint. They also know that this can mean, on occasion, providing a refund or freebie to somebody who really doesn’t deserve it. These policies help maintain overall goodwill. Unfortunately, many companies don’t have a plan in place to deal with abusive customers. These are customers who will manufacture complaint after complaint in order to get something for free. Rather than assuming the customer is always right in these instances, it is a good idea to empower employees and front end managers. They are best qualified to determine which customers have a history of abusing refund and credit programs.
When Customers Cause Unsafe and Unpleasant Conditions for Others
Sadly, we live in a world where people assume that money is an excuse to behave in ways that have a negative impact on others. Think about attending a sporting event where a drunken boor is ruining everybody else’s good time with their loud and obnoxious behavior. When they are asked to calm down, they inevitably begin screaming about being a paying customer. In this case, the behavior is only a nuisance. What happens when the behavior causes a safety issue. This is something that can easily happen at an amusement park, for example.
Maybe the phrase, ‘the customer is always right’ needs to be retired. Maybe the goal of business owners should be to treat everybody with as much respect as possible, whether they are employees or customers. The end result might be a work or shopping environment that is pleasant for all. That is sure to be good for employee morale, customer service, and the company’s bottom line.
And how do you deal with such problems? Waiting for your comments.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Is the Customer Always Right? No!
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