You’ve probably heard it a million times: “The customer is always right.”
But is this true?
Yes, sometimes the customer is right, but not always. And the attitude that the customer is always right hinders good business, especially if your prime focus is satisfying customers who can’t be satisfied, or if you focus on creating short-term satisfaction instead of long-term customer loyalty.
Five Reasons Your Customers Aren’t Always Right
1. Because your business has limited resources
You and your team have limited resources. You have limited energy, money, time and patience. However, there are some customers you’ll never satisfy no matter what you do. And no matter how much effort and time you dedicate, these customers will still be unhappy with what you’re offering.
So if you’ve done your best to address their problems, don’t be afraid to move on. It’s your responsibility to keep moving, because your business doesn’t exist solely for these few customers. You need to meet the needs of thousands of other customers and support your employees.
In fact, it’s bad to focus on one customer at the expense of other customers and your employees.
2. It makes your employees unhappy
A company with a huge customer base will always have its share of rude, snappy, and malicious customers. Inevitably among 100 customers, there’ll be at least 5 or 10 who will rub you the wrong way. And reacting to those customers with frustration is sheer human nature.
Making your team believe that the customer is always right will increase their misery. Instead, choosing to support your employees over taking sides with intolerable and enraged customers is the best choice.
Let your customers understand that even though they’re important, they aren’t indispensable.
Constantly supporting your employees will create a sense of loyalty amongst them and they’ll offer better service to customers. This is because happy employees always go the extra mile to make customers happy, and this in turn boosts profit.
3. The customer isn’t an expert
Your employees know your product or service best, right? However, it’s common for some customers to think they’re the expert. Sometimes, they assume something is supposed to work a certain way. And some customers presume they know how you should run your business. In the worst-case scenario, this can happen to a ridiculous extent. So, it can be dangerous to let customers think they’re always right.
Instead of treating customers like they’re always right, treat them like you’re an expert. You don’t want to be arrogant, of course, but be helpful. Help them understand the best way to use your product or service. And show them how what you’re offering meets their needs.
4. Some customers are bad for business
Not every customer is indispensable and there are some customers you simply don’t want. Those who constantly complain, abuse employees, or create stress for your business aren’t worth it. It doesn’t matter how much business they bring.
A bad customer:
* Lowers employee morale
* Needs a lot of resources
* Makes employees miserable and increases their stress levels
Sometimes, you’ll need to “fire” bad customers simply to protect your business and employees and build a successful and sustainable business. Yes, this will cost some revenue in the short term, but it’s great for your organization in the long run.
5. Customers want to maintain the norm
Every time a company makes changes, it’ll get backlash from customers, even though the changes are good in the long run.
Customers want things to remain the same. And any time you make changes in your business, you’ll get some initial backlash, even if the change is good. So if you have the attitude that the customer is always right, you’ll never make healthy improvements to your company. Instead, the possibility of bad customer feedback can have a paralyzing effect.
Excellent customer service is the goal of every business and business owners need to do everything possible to make their customers happy by catering to their needs. However, adopting the principle of, “the customer is always right,” can cripple your business by demotivating employees, giving power to disrespectful customers and creating bad experiences for other customers. The key is to support your employees to do their best while serving the customers, without allowing bad customers to dictate the rules.