Friday, December 18, 2009

The Customer is always not Right!!

I am sure this is always the case when the company takes side of unreasonable, demanding and an angry customers instead of you. I do not believe that this is the sign of a loyal employee.

The customers are always not right for your business

One man who was a frequent visitor of a shop in southwest. He was always disappointed with each and every aspect of that shop's operation. He was often called as the pen pal because whenever he used to come into the shop, he used to write one complain in the customer feedback book.

He didn't like the fact that the shop owner didnt assign any seats for elderly people in his showroom. He didnt like the idea of serving hot dogs inside the shop, he was not satisfied with the billing procedures of the shop and lastly he was not happy with the performance of the shop attendants there. He had to complain in every small issue related to that shop.

His last letter was directly to the CEO of the showroom which went to his desk with a note: 'This one is for you Mr. CEO'. The CEO of the showroom Mr. Koller replied him back with a note which said, "Dear Mr. Roger, we will definitely miss you. Love Koller."

"The Customer is always Right" is a phrase that was introduced in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge who is also the founder of the departmental store called "Selfridge's". The phrase is used by businesses to :

1.) To make sure that all the customers get the best services from the employees.

2.) To make sure that the employees are giving the best services to their customers.

But in the recent years this concept seems to be absconding because this is leading to a bad customer service.

I wanted to share with my readers the top 4 reasons why The customers are always not right:

1: It gives a negative impact on your employees

I remember when I went to Texas I met a person called Mr. bethune. He was the owner of one of the best fast food center in Texas called "Humble food hub". He believed that the phrase customer is always right is actually wrong. Whenever there was any conflict between his people and the rude customers he always used to take side of his employees.

There is always a possibility to get back a loyal customer but there are always very less chances of getting back a good royal employee. He always used to say that ,"just because you are buying food from our shop and paying us that doesnt mean you will abuse my people."

The foot fall in his shop per day is around 10k and out of those 10k there is always a chances that one or two customers will be demanding jerks. It is your employee who is working for you and not that rude jerk. He never treated his employees like serfs. He knows how to value them. He never allows an environment of resentment in his restaurant.

2. It gives demanding customers an unfair advantage

If you keep on using the slogan "The Customer is always right" in front of your customers, it will give them a right to do whatever they feel like. They will start demanding just anything. At this point of time the job of an employee becomes more difficult.

Abusive customers get better treatment that nice employees. So it is always advisable that be nice to nice customers and be bad to bad customers.

3. Not all but some Customers may be bad for your business

The business owners often feel that more the customers more is the business. But some customers can actually be bad for your company.

I have read this story of a American IT service provider called ServiceGopt. It said, that one of their technicians went to one of the customers house for maintenance task and the customer treated with her very rudely. She finished her task very calmly, returned office and told the entire story to the management. They went ahead and canceled the contract with that customer.

Just like Koller who dismissed that irate gentlemen from coming to his shop, similarly ServiceGopt fired an irate and rue customer. After all it was a matter of dignity and self respect of a female employee.

4. It often results in bad customer service

Roseworth Travel Services took it even further. CEO Sara Roseworth wrote an excellent book called "Your customer comes after your employees". She argues that when you put your employees before your customers there will always be an healthy environment in the office. If employees are happy and satisfied, customers will automatically start feeling satisfied.

Employees who are always happy will provide better customer services at work because:

  • They have a habit of caring people, especially their customers
  • They are always energetic
  • They will interact with them in a better way
  • They are more motivated to work
But if the customers are put before the employees then it clearly indicates that :

  • Employees are not values properly
  • treating employees fairly is less important
  • That employees do not get respect from the customers
If this prevails, employees will stop caring about good service.

So put your people at first and let your people put the customers first.

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