Being an employee, have you ever felt the customer got too much on your nerves? But just for the repute of the company and to save its goodwill, you work and tolerate all the rude behavior that comes from customers. That’s because no matter what your moral standards are, you have been brain-washed during the training and made to believe that “The customer is always right”
Well, believe it or not, this phrase has more bad consequences than good ones. And it (the phrase) should be abandoned by businesses for good!
I know accepting things beyond the norm is weird and not always welcomed. But today I will make you believe that why “The customer is always right” is actually wrong. But first,let metell you where this camefrom?
“The customer is always right” is a motto or slogan which exhorts service staff to give a high priority to customer satisfaction. It was popularized by pioneering and successful retailers such as Harry Gordon Selfridge, John Wanamaker,and Marshall Field. They advocated that customer complaints should be treated seriously so that customers do not feel cheated or deceived. This attitude was novel and influential when misrepresentation was rife and caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) was a common legal maxim” (the early 1900s)
For the person who checked it: the above mentioned fact is the authentication to the reader that “the customer is always right” wasn’t a self-made concept—but given by a trust worthy resource. It is better to give support of research or something of the similar nature, I haven’t removed it because of that. Even below, Forbes and other company’s example is given.
Let’s have a better look at the facts below that are worth considering, also if you are running a company or work in the HR department, you better read this article.
- Unknowingly, the reason for employees bad mental health:
Employees are the precious assets of the company. Their mental wellbeing is very important for the company itself. Some survey I got right in hand to support this.
According to Forbes,
“In this 2016 Work and Well-Being Survey, less than half of working Americans reported that their organization supports the well-being of its employees. The same survey found 1 in 3 of us feel chronically stressed on the job. If happier workers = more productive workers, what’s stopping companies—and their employees—from taking action?”
Taking care of employees mental health doesn’t mean offering few holidays or extra remuneration. It’s about talking out the factors that bother them in the work place. To work on the limitations and control the external factors responsible for ruining the “good environment” in the work place. And the unfair behavior of customers is also one of the things that need to be counted among those.
Of course, there are plenty of examples of bad employees giving unfair customer service but giving a generalized statement to cover that up by saying “the customer is always right” is actually nonproductive.
- It Gives Coarse Customers a One-sided/unfair Advantage:
Even after having certain rules and policies of the company, it can be really testy to deal with some customers. They might bring up certain demands that are not possible to meet or be manipulative to gain advantage for themselves by proving unfair drama. Such things make employees’ job harder.
In such circumstances, even the employees cannot do much because they are ones who have to save the company’s dignity, and unfortunately—just give up!
Be nice to nice customers, but if you are fulfilling unjust demands and condition, such customers will coming back and hence things will be messed up.
A good company is the one who has just policies for all customers but also holdsflexibility to deal with unfavorable circumstances.
- The certain customer can be unhealthy for the business:
You might think the more customers you have the better it is for the business. But it’s not true in all cases. Instead, it can turn out to be that some customers can cause major damage to the company or its repute.
Let me give you a helpful example.
Danish IT service provider ServiceGruppen proudly tells this story:
“One of our service technicians arrived at a customer’s site for a maintenance task, and to his great shock was treated very rudely by the customer.
When he’d finished the task and returned to the office, he told management about his experience. They promptly cancelled the customer’s contract”
Just like Kelleher dismissed the irate lady who kept complaining (but somehow also kept flying on Southwest), ServiceGruppen fired a bad customer. Note that it was not even a matter of a financial calculation — not a question of whether either company would make or lose money on that customer in the long run. It was a simple matter of respect and dignity and of treating their employees. Seems fair enough? Yep!
Just like that, you might see many other examples of such customers. So would you say “the customer is always right”?
- Tit for tat:
Have you ever heard the “Tit for Tat” situation? The way you behave is what you get in return. When you put the employees first, they put the customers first. Put employees first and they will be happy at work. Employees who are happy at work give better customer service because:
- The care about the company, and it’s customers they deal with
- They work enthusiastically
- They have a positive energy, both towards the work and office environment
- They are motivated enough, customers are their priority
On the other hand, when the company and management consistently side with customers instead of with employees, it sends a clear message that:
- Employees and their needs are undervalued
- Treating employees in a good manner is not important, only the sale is
- Employees have no right to get respect from customers, hence can create low self-esteem in them.
- Employees have to put up with everything from customers, no matter how worse the situation gets
When this attitude prevails, employees stop caring about service. At that point, genuinely good service is almost impossible — the best customers can hope for is fake good service. You know what I mean: courteous on the surface only.
After reading the facts above, I am sure that you won’t consider the customer always right (when unfair circumstances) and be the better judge of right or wrong.
May you have happy customer service! 😉