The Customer Is Always Right, Really?



I hate the saying "The customer is always right". Because they are not. No one is. Even if they are the majority in any survey, it only means that they are espousing a popular opinion. And we all know, from history, that popular opinions are not necessarily the right.


"Google" it right now, and your search will result in quite a number of negative sentiments on this.

But as I reflect on this post, More Customers vs For Customers (via The Story of Telling), and my own experiences, I found a deeper insight that may help you in your business or in your career. That is, it pays to be nice to people - actively seeking the welfare of others, as opposed to "looking out for number one", the phrase we use in the '90s for "me first".

Better Customer Experience For Better Bottom Line

bottom line

As a case in point, in my customer support manual for my e-commerce business, I have instructions to put any negative feedback about my products to the highest priority in the list and to ensure a happy resolution within 24-48 hrs. And this could mean sending a new unit to the customer as a free gift. Even though it was nobody's fault, e.g. postal service issues.

I may lose a few bucks in the short term, but the positive impact to the bottom line, by way of word of mouth referrals and social proof is so much more. 

The same goes in my professional life. We all have those very difficult customers (internal or external) whose number one mission is to make our lives miserable 🙂

John 13:34

... love one another. Just as I have loved you...

When difficult situations arise, I'll remind myself of the scripture passage above, putting myself in their shoes help me understand where they're coming from. And with the understanding, comes reconciliation and a friendlier atmosphere ensue.

Yes, it doesn't always end well. But most of the time that I try, it does.

It's those situations where I try to look out for my self-interest, those were the most stressful.

Your turn

Has this helped you in any way?

Let me know what customer insight takeaways you distilled from this post by dropping a comment below, and please take a moment to share this on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest! (Google+ is dead...)

About the author 

Manolo Fetalvero

Founder, Singapore Business Village | Helping Working Professionals Build Their Dream Business

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