The notion behind the catchy phrase “The customer is always right.” is to ingrain a sense of quality customer service, motivating staff decision-making towards the path of customer satisfaction and benefits with the goal of gaining loyalty and trust.
But does this mantra hold true? Not always. Here’s why.
1. There will be wrong customers.
Sometimes customers do make mistakes, exaggerate, or even fabricate. When faced with such scenarios, it's not about doing whatever the customer asks in the name of great customer service. After the benefit of doubt has been given and reasonable effort made to manage the customers’ expectations and yet a tirade of unreasonable demands continues, it is time to put your foot down.
2. The negative impact on employee morale could prove detrimental
Expecting employees to undertake a mistake that the business is not liable for could lead to an undesired ripple effect. This is especially true when frustratingly unreasonable customers berate the customer service team. If they are held down by this mantra and have nowhere to turn to for upper management support, it is only a matter of time when negativity hits the roof. And we know how that eventually pans out in a toxic environment where positive work conditions and company culture are key to team performance.
3. There are customers you can afford to lose
If valuable time and company resources are drained due to over-demanding and unreasonable customers, consider channeling those elements towards customers you actually want to retain. Afterall, brand advocates will stick with your business if you continue to provide real value and positive customer experiences.
The customer-is-always-right principle encourages us to place ourselves in the shoes of customers. However, when the shoes prove to be a terrible fit no matter how we try, it is time to step back, re-evaluate and politely return these shoes to the customers.