Why “the customer is always right” can be bad for business

Why “the customer is always right” can be bad for business

why "the customer is always right" can be bad for business

“The customer is always right”, isn’t that the way we’ve always been told to do business? The phrase has been a staple in the customer service industry since the founder of Selfridge’s Department Store, Gordon Selfridge, first coined it. The phrase is drilled into every customer service worker, whether they work in a hotel, restaurant, winery, or other attraction service. Is it time for this phrase to be re-examined? Sometimes the customer is not right- and it’s okay to acknowledge this. By forcing the idea that the customer is always right onto your staff and business model, it can actually damage your company’s customer service.

Is the customer boss?

Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, said, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” That’s a lot of responsibility to place in the hands of the customer, especially when each customer is unique. The customer experience is a vital part of your business; you want to ensure that your customer is leaving your business happy and ready to become an ambassador for your brand. You should be careful when applying blanket statements to your customers- they are all differnt and require something a little more personal from you when giving feedback.

When it comes down to your employees vs. your customers, whose side are you on?

Looking to satisfy customers should always be a primary focus of your business. However, you shouldn’t forget your employees in the process. By consistently siding with customers over employees, you run the risk of creating resentment, leading to substandard customer service. An unengaged employee can create negative experiences for your guest.

When you put your employees first, they will in turn put the customer first. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to give better service, providing you with a successful cohesive model of customer service. Your customers deserve authentic customer service- not a fake smile from an employee who feels undervalued.

The customer can be wrong, but never ignored

Customer complaints should be genuinely listene to, and you should attempt to find a solution. It does not mean that every complaint has a solution. Occasionally, the customer is wrong, their complaint arises through his or her own doing. You want to be delivering a high value of customer service, but in a model that does not consistently reward “bad” customers, especially when it’s the “nice” customers you want the return business from.

Customer service should rely less on the phrase, “the customer is always right” but rather embrace, “happy employees mean happy customers”. Your business’ customer service can see massive improvements when you start focusing on your customers and employees. Contact Braymark today to learn more about their Niagara Mystery Shopper program and how it can help you improve your customer experience.

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