The Customer Is Always Right – 7 Reasons Why (Not)

MHC Team     October 2nd, 2020  

The Customer Is Always Right

If you’ve been part of any business, you’ve, without question, heard the philosophy; “The customer is always right.” You’ve probably heard this adage parroted so often that you take it to heart. Pump your brakes.

While the heart of this saying might be in the right place, you need to assess it to understand whether it applies in reality. Continue the points below to break down this philosophy.

The Customer is Always Right –
7 Reasons Why This is Not the Case

OK, let’s consider the heart of the statement. At its core, the philosophy means that you go above and beyond to satisfy your customers. No one can argue with that, and every business should strive to overdeliver satisfaction.

Creating an amazing customer experience is essential, but you want to go about it the right way. Here’s where things get sticky when you feel that the customer is always right:

1. STICKING TO THIS RELIGIOUSLY EMPOWERS ABUSIVE CUSTOMERS

Entitled customers become tyrants. You’d think that they’d appreciate your willingness to deliver, but human nature says otherwise.

Customers can get downright abusive when they feel that you have to do what they say since they spend money with you. Conducting business should always be an even exchange. If your customer isn’t giving you any reciprocity then they aren’t holding up their end.

2. YOUR RESOURCES ARE NOT INFINITE

No company has enough resources to address every concern if the customer is always right. That’s because you would need infinite resources.

Policies are created for a reason, so create them and stick to them. The policy acts as an agreement for doing business between you and your customers.

Recognize that you can’t do it all so you don’t let customers drain your resources.

3. THE CUSTOMER MIGHT BE WRONG!

This can’t be said enough. Even if a customer isn’t being rude or belligerent, they may simply be wrong.

Your customer service professionals should never be afraid to point out when a customer is wrong about something. Politely correcting them establishes facts and expectations so that there’s no wiggle room.

Clarity is one of the most crucial parts of doing business, and correcting mistakes keeps things clear for all parties. All the time you spend helping a customer that is wrong can be used toward customers that have a legitimate issue. By serving the customers that need you, you’ll see your online reviews go up.

Online reviews are huge marketing currency today, so you don’t want to leave this opportunity on the table.

4. THIS DOESN’T PROTECT YOUR EMPLOYEES

“The customer is always right” approach may not always be the answer. When you empower the customer to this level you end up devaluing your own employees.

You’re asking them to put up with a no-win situation lead by unreasonable people.

This will wear down the morale of any company, and your employees may feel as though you don’t have their back.

Rather than stressing out your employee base, you should add some balance to the situation.

Hold your employees accountable for offering top-notch customer service, and keep your customers honest by making it a fair interaction.

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5. IT CREATES INEFFICIENT CUSTOMER SERVICE

“The customer is always right” philosophy also doesn’t hold from a logistics and management point of view. No matter how you calculate it, you’re going to end up spending more time and money than you should.

This is money and time you could be spending toward growing your business.

Discover 63 Essential Customer Service Statistics in our Infographic

6. THIS MIGHT CREATE A COMBATIVE ENVIRONMENT

When your employees are worn down by this inefficient strategy, it could also make the work environment combative. After having to consistently comply with customers that are wrong or abusive, it’s easy to become defensive.

Think about jobs that have huge volumes of customers, some of whom are likely argumentative or misinformed. Go to the DMV anywhere and you probably aren’t getting glowing customer service or optimal efficiency.

Allowing your business to feel like something that both customers and employees have to get through, rather than enjoy, will kill the brand equity of any company. This goes against the very principles of creating a positive work environment, which also makes you more productive.

7. IT ISN’T A PROFITABLE PERSPECTIVE

Perhaps most importantly, “the customer is always right” strategy will flat-out drain your budget. This isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s something that will cause you to go out of business.

No customer is worth you going out of business. And if you do lose your company trying to overextend yourself with customer service, you won’t be around to serve the customers that actually need you and enjoy what you offer.

This story always ends with you not being able to meet the requirements of these customers, and it will frustrate you and make your company less effective. It’s ironic that by trying to overplease your customers, no one in the transaction leaves satisfied.

What’s more, unsatisfied customers will disrupt your other customers, which further loses you business.

Assess Your Customer Service Strategies

When you understand what “the customer is always right” really means, you’ll recognize that it’s not a winning strategy.

The points above illustrate this, so imagine how these variables might play out in your business. Now that you can contextualize that old saying, search for working customer service strategies rather than just sticking to cliches.

We happen to have some of the best customer service tools that you’ll find and can help you automate many of your company’s processes.

Take the time to contact us so you can take your company’s customer service strategies to new levels.

Team MHC

Team MHC consists of a multitude of roles, functions, and expertise within MHC. With extensive combined experience in accounts payable and customer communication management, Team MHC has a unique insight into how to empower people using solutions that streamline processes while enhancing customer communication. Working alongside field experts in various industries and company sizes, Team MHC has garnered impressive thought leadership knowledge that we are excited to share with our readers. Including Aragon’s 2022 Women in Tech winner Gina Armada, CTO Dan Ward, VPs of Finance and Customer Service, and other talent that runs the spectrum of technology ability, Team MHC offers a mastery of skills to benefit our customers and prospects alike.

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