5 Reasons Why the Customer is Not Always Right
Making the employees believe that the customer is always right, is making them dejected
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
An oft-quoted catchphrase in the business world is that the customer is always right. And to meet customers' need companies often go to ridiculous extents. However, treating customers like they are always right can be self-destructive for entrepreneurs. It can have far-reaching consequences for the business and everyone associated with it, even the customers.
Here are 5 reasons why your customers are not always right-
1. Businesses Have Limited Resources
Entrepreneurs are not omnipotent, neither are their employees. Most businesses, especially the fledgling ones, operate with limited resources including limited time, funds, and energy. Every business experience its share of grudging customers, who, whatever might be done to satisfy their needs, will continue to complain.
Feeling guilty and culpable for such petulant lot is actually unwise and it affects your business in a negative way. If the necessary steps have been taken to address the issues of a customer, entrepreneurs should close the matter and move on.
'Businesses are not dependent on individual buyers. It is actually immature to spend all the energy to satisfy someone who does not intend to be happy. It is important to address the requirements of hundreds and thousands of other regular clients, and also show solidarity with the employees,' shared Charu Singh, Founder and Creative Head, Zooki, a platform for carefully curated eclectic designs in women's clothing, jewellery and accessories.
2. It Adds Misery to Employees
A business with a giant clientele will invariably have its share of malicious, rude, snappy consumers. Amongst 50 customers there will at least be 5 who will end up rubbing you the wrong way. Now, reacting to such folk with appeasement and guilt is utter naivet?.
Making the employees believe that the customer is always right, is making them dejected. Between supporting your employees and taking sides with an intolerable, enraged customer, it is best to choose the former. Customers must get this message that though they are important they are not indispensable, while supporting employees always pays extra.
"With constant support from the owners comes a sense of loyalty amongst the employees who then provide better service to customers. It's axiomatic that happy employees always go an extra mile to make customers happy," she added.
3. Customers Are Not Omniscient
The creator of a business and the team that works with him know best about the product or service they offer. But customers are often upset because the products don't function the way they want them to. They can go to any extent and demand unrealistic even ludicrous things.
Often customers try to establish that they know better and try to share opinion and advice on how the business should run or the product/service should work. Irrespective of the sector of the business, it is risky to give the customers the liberty to think that they cannot be wrong.
"The key is to establish before customers, in a very amicable way, that the maker of the product is the final authority. Giving proper demonstration and details of the product and service help customers understand the expertise of the owner and employees," advised Sidhant Minocha, Sedhantik, a socially and ecologically responsible brand that propagates good aesthetics and ethics.
4. It Pits Management Against Employees
The message that the customer is always right, places employees against customers and gives the former an advantage over the latter. This results in numerous problems-
It demoralizes the employees, results in employee bitterness against the higher authorities and indicates that the organization favours the customers more than the workforce. "It also demonstrates lack of faith in the employees' ability to resolve situations. In reality, taking sides of the employees generate happier customers," he asserted.
5. You Don't Want Every Customer
Not all customers are indispensable and businesses must accept that. It is better to let go of a persistently complaining and abusive customer who only end up creating stress amongst the employees. This is irrespective of the amount the customer pays for your product.
Disgruntled customers wear away employees' spirits, involve a very high quantity of resources and add to the employee stress levels. It is sometimes sensible to lose a customer for protecting the company and its workforce.
"To stay in business for a long time, entrepreneurs need to avoid unreasonably disgruntled customers. Getting rid of bad customers might cost a little profit, but it's healthier in the long-term goals of the business," Anubhav Agarwal, Founder, bookbyslot.com.
Excellent customer service is the crux of any business and entrepreneurs must take all initiatives to make customers happy by catering to their needs.
But adopting the principle of 'The customer is always right,' eventually hurts the business by demotivating employees, giving power to offensive customers, and also by creating bad experiences for the other customers. The key is to build the skills of the employees in making accurate decisions. Support them to do their best while dealing with customers without allowing the impolite ones dictate rules.