Why ‘Customers Are Always Right’ Is Misleading
The phrase “customers are always right” is often bandied about, but there are cases where this simply is not true.
In this article, we will take a look at why customers can be wrong, how to handle it, and how to create an honest customer experience in which both customer and business are respected.
Why the Phrase ‘Customers Are Always Right’ Is Misleading
“Customers Are Always Right” Sets Unrealistic Expectations
The mentality that customers are always right promotes an unrealistic level of expectation for customer service providers.
In the real world, it is impossible to please every customer all of the time and making such promises puts unreasonable pressure on employees.
This can lead to frustration and burnout as well as leaving customers with a negative impression of the business if their expectations aren’t met.
Further reading: How To Deliver Excellence In Customer Service Every Time
It Can Put Employees In Uncomfortable Or Unsafe Conditions
The phrase “customers are always right” can actually put employees in uncomfortable or unsafe positions.
For example, a customer might argue or demand something that may violate a company policy, placing the employee in an awkward and compromising situation.
In order to protect its employees from aggressive customers and ensure workplace safety, businesses must set boundaries and let customers know that certain requests are unacceptable.
Related article: What Is A Customer Centric Approach?
It Leaves Room For Manipulation And Abuse
The phrase “customers are always right” has created an environment where customers can manipulate and abuse businesses.
This type of victimized position puts the business in a difficult situation, having to choose between upholding the adage or protecting their rights as a seller.
If businesses allow themselves to be taken advantage of, they can suffer financially and even lose credibility with other customers.
It Can Lead To Unfair Accusations Of Wrong-Doing
Another potential problem with allowing customers to always be right is that it can lead to unfair accusations of wrong-doing.
If a customer feels as though they were in the right and the employee was in the wrong, they may attempt to make false complaints or take legal action against the business or its employees.
This kind of behavior is not only damaging to businesses, but it is also extremely difficult on employees who are merely following protocol.
It Disregards The Business’s Bottom Line
While the sentiment of customer satisfaction is important, it can’t come at the expense of a business’s profitability.
In some cases, customers may expect more than a business could possibly provide.
For example – having overly unrealistic expectations or demanding something outside of the business’s core competencies.
There are certainly times where the customer is wrong and businesses must find ways to navigate these situations while still upholding their values and making a profit.
Concluding ‘Customers Are Always Right’
As these points break down; although the common phrase ‘customers are always right’ may be popular, it’s not actually correct at all.
By trying to do the right thing and helping your customers, you may actually be putting yourself, your employees and your business at risk.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t listen to our customers concerns, or legitimate constructive feedback.
Of course – there is always opportunity here, especially when it comes from people who buy from you.
However, always be mindful of the feedback, and ensure you take into account the complete effect of your actions, rather than just listening purely to a customers concerns.
‘Customers are always right’ may come with the right intention; however following the phrase blindly could actually damage your business.
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