Let’s Settle It – Is The Customer Actually Always Right?

Written By Alla Levin
August 15, 2022
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Let’s Settle It – Is The Customer Always Right?

Most people have a visceral reaction to the following phrase ‘the customer is always right.’ If you’ve worked in customer service, you probably laughed out loud. If you’ve been mistreated or mishandled by a company offering you a service they never delivered, you may wish this phrase was enshrined in law.

The truth, like with most things, is nuanced. Is the customer always right in that they know what they want and are willing to pay for, and that companies that hope to remain successful need to cater to a market and help shape it? Well, that could be the case.

Is it also true that sometimes customers think they know what they want but are waiting for an innovative company to show them what kind of purchase they will make? Possibly. After all, the idea of the iPhone was pretty out-there when it was first revealed; now, it’s hard to socialize without seeing one in your periphery.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to focus on what this phrase means to your business and how it can shape your outreach. Let’s consider some of that advice below, and from there, discuss some worthwhile ideals about how to manage your audience:

Feedback Is Important

Sometimes, customer feedback can give you the insight needed to craft your best-selling product. Let’s say you’re a company that sells supplements. But because of how many worthwhile ingredients you place into the capsule, it’s quite large. Thanks to customer feedback, you realize that a few people have suggested that eating a gummy would be easier.

This strikes a brainwave, and as you install the gummy manufacturing equipment, you realize how you can widen your market to people who want good health but also wish for some fun in their lives. If you dispelled any customer feedback or removed the chance for them to give it, would this insight have ever come to you? Perhaps not. 

Customer Support ProvisionsCustomer Support Provisions

The customer might not always be right, but sometimes they have an idea of how they would like to be treated or resolve a situation to make something right.

Providing your customer support agents further autonomy to provide that solution better can be critical. An agent who may be able to offer a refund, process redelivery, or even instruct a customer through the difficulty feels better in their role rather than one stuck to a script.

In other words – customers aren’t always right, but that’s because they’re human. So, treat them like humans, on good terms. This will grant you the wriggle room you need to meditate.

Defending Your Staff & Business

It might not sound like wise and prudent advice to give a business looking to grow revenue, but it’s true that sometimes, you have to decline service, bar customers from entry, or allow your staff to make their judgment and refuse the product.

This may come from refusing a refund without a customer receipt, reporting a problem customer in a store so that others know, and ensuring your staff are treated with a baseline level of respect. That can help ensure you only leave room for the good customers you appreciate. It will also heighten standards internally.

With this advice, you’ll no doubt have your own opinion on if the customer is always right, but perhaps you’ll be able to see the other side, too.

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