Is the customer always right?

The statement “The customer is always right” has been an unwritten rule that has guided businesses when offering customer service. It created the idea that the complaints customers have are always justified and companies need to find ways to completely satisfy them. For this reason, companies have focused a great part of their energy on developing techniques that can help them make their customers happy.

Customers are important for companies and somehow determine the direction in which they go. They play a crucial role in the business growth process and for this reason, businesses value their opinions. However, there are situations when customers are not always right.

Looking from the business point of view, there are cases when your company needs ask you to make certain changes that may not satisfy all your customers. In order to understand this better, let’s look at the following 3 elements that weaken the idea that the customer is always right.

Customers know what they want, not what they need

Customers know what they want to obtain from a company. They may want to buy a product or a service that can fulfill certain actions that they need. However, they are not really experts. They are focused on what they want, not on what they actually need. Companies may recommend them products or services that manage to satisfy their needs.

Let’s look at the following example to understand this aspect better. A patient that has caught a cold goes to the doctor to receive a treatment that will make him feel better. He hopes he will get antibiotics in his medical prescription because those are strong drugs and he believes they can make him heal faster. The doctor, though, gives him drugs that are not very strong because those are the ones he actually needs for his cold.

There are situations when what customers want is not actually what they need. Nonetheless, you still need to respect their wishes and their opinions, as they are important for your business.

Also, think on the long, not on the short term. If the doctor had given antibiotics for the cold, the drugs could have had some negative effects on the patient. For instance, the same antibiotics could have not been efficient when he would have had a powerful infection in his body. It is important to put on the first place the actual needs of the customers and to think how you can make them loyal to your business.

Some customers are hard to satisfy

When you formed your customer service team, you chose people who have certain abilities, knowledge on particular subjects or experience in customer service. Good communication skills, the ability to empathize and patience are just a few examples of characteristics that employees need to have.

Making all your customers happy is a very difficult task. You may come across people who are really hard to satisfy. Applying the notion that the customer is always right with these people is a time-consuming process and may not bring the result you are looking for. For example, it can make your employees feel frustrated that they do not manage to satisfy those people. This can create an unpleasant environment which can affect other customers that interact with your business.

If you have a team of people who are well-prepared and capable of making decisions that can solve problems, you have high chances of you managing to satisfy the needs of your customers. People will find it a pleasant experience to work with your staff.

Customers are not used to changes regarding your business

When a company makes a change, there are chances that customers may not like it. They are interested in you maintaining your status quo.

For example, the removal of a product. People will not focus on the question “Why did they remove it?”, but rather on “Why can’t I have it anymore?”. Behind such actions stand business reasons that are not known by customers. In fact, they do not need to know them.

As a business, you need to concentrate on the actions that help you in your growth process. Focusing on your goals will help you later and will somehow show customers why you did something at a certain time.

Customers are not always right, yet not always wrong. You need to consider their opinions about your business, but you also need to focus on what you know is good for your company and your employees. Finding a balance between the two of them can help you grow your business.

We are gladly inviting you to share with us your latest customer experiences!

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