Is the Customer Always Right? Understanding the Reality

Anyone who has ever worked a job role where they had to interact with customers knows from experience that the customer is not always right. That’s the truth. However, this does not render the “customer is always right” phrase completely useless.

That is to say, the answer to this question does not determine whether you should or should not implement the phrase in your customer service strategy.

As a business or service provider, your ultimate objective should be satisfying your audiences. That is because the success of your business depends on the customers’ perception of your brand or business and their experience in buying from you.

Therefore, regardless, you must always stick with the “customer is always right” philosophy to ensure that customers and their needs remain a top priority for you and your team.

What does it Mean by “The Customer is Always Right”?

Yes, “always right” simply implies “never wrong”. However, not every time is this definition correct, when it comes to customer service. The customer will be wrong in numerous situations. 

However, as their right, they are entitled to indiscriminate support. In addition, your service team needs to do everything within its power to satisfy the customer. Bear in mind, that “everything” must be within reason.

That is to say, the customer cannot make illegal, unethical, or unreasonable demands. They can also not compel you to offer anything that is not offered by your business.

A Brief History

As far back as it can be dated, it was Harry G. Selfridge who was credited for coining this phrase. However, the idea was attributed to several retail pioneers at the end of the century.

It was during the 1900s, that this phrase meant to treat customers with the utmost respect, dignity, and care. The whole idea was to give the customer a unique journey that would captivate them and make them come to you for all their needs.

However, over time the meaning was sometimes taken literally or not paid attention to. Either way, it is still unclear to date who was the first person to say that and what was their original explanation of it.

Top 5 Reasons Why The Customer is Always Right

Before all else, it is crucial not to take “customer is always right” in literal meaning. On the contrary, it is more of a motto to create a mindset that enables you to treat your customers well and ensure a pleasant experience.

Without further ado, here are five major explanations for why the customer is always right:

1. The Customer Is Maker and Breaker of Businesses

This is the first and most important reason why the customer is always right”. Yes, the customer does indeed make or break your business. For instance, if customers have negative feedback or complaints regarding your business, you will take damage.

This can mostly come in the form of online reviews and give off a significantly bad impression of your service or product.

The best way is to set up some strategies, understand your target customers, and cater your services accordingly to ensure they have nice things to say.

2. Bad Feedback is Lethal

As aforementioned, customers make or break businesses. Getting any sort of backlash can ultimately end your business. Especially if it is an online review.

Even one detailed bad review is almost unfixable. Therefore, under any circumstances, you must ensure your customers stay happy. If you don’t, your competitors will come out as the heroes and even steal your customers.

3. Happy Customers Keep Doubling Down

You probably heard the phrase “A smile is contagious”. Happy customers tend to multiply. Once you start providing excellent service and focus on the philosophy “your customer is always right”. You’ll notice that happy customers bring more people in.

Moreover, the customers will become loyal and grow your customer base because of the recommendations they make to everyone around them. This includes friends, family, and even acquaintances. 

4. It Represents Excellent Customer Service

The customer service provided determines loyalty or loss. Every single one of your customers is invaluable and you should treat them in a way that this ethos reflects. However, this does not mean you have to take the extra steps all the time.

The key factor here is communication. Try to understand the pain points of your customers and give them a solution that would resonate with their needs.

5. Fresh Revenue Opportunities

In a way, it all revolves around the feedback of the customer. Finding their points and coming up with creative solutions will open more opportunities for you and you can provide a great experience to the customers.

New customer acquisition is an incredible investment. You need to put a lot of time, money, and patience into it. Your customers are the end-users and their feedback tells you exactly what they want or don’t want.

Working your way around that will help pinpoint the problems you need to resolve as a priority.

Final Thoughts

Once again, customers can’t always be right, and that’s the honest answer. However, it is a philosophy that determines the success of your business. This is why, whenever you walk into a restaurant or shop, you’ll notice the extra care and concern paid to you by the sales team.

So long as you serve with a smile and try your best to cater to your customer’s needs, your business should prosper. Remember, the customers make or break the business and just because of that, you will need to go the extra mile for your customers.


Written by joao-q

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