Are Customers Always Right?


You have probably heard this a million times; customers are always right. Truth be told, customers are NOT always right! However, if you plan to stay in the service industry and dealing with customers are your top priorities, there are ways to manage them.

Handling difficult customers is no easy feat, but that is where your professionalism comes in. Here are some basic tips on how to handle difficult customers;

1.     Listen – Yes, you always have to put yourselves in their shoes and listen to what they have to say.

2.     Be in control- In other words, be patient. Although sometimes you may want to argue back, hold it in and rationalize with them.

3.     Be understanding- Show that you care for them and want to make things right.

However, employers must also know when to step in when a situation gets difficult. A one-sided favouritism towards customers is a big NO-NO! Always understand that, being an employee also means you need to be treated in a fair manner. The slogan “Customer is always right” can sometimes be wrong because customers can demand just about anything. Sometimes, a demand that cannot be granted. Reality check! Some customers can be bad for business. Let’s give it an example; if a customer wants to buy something that is way below the market rate, the salesperson will make a loss instead of making a profit because some sales personnel will try to please their customers by subsidizing from their own pocket. That is not a good tactic to hit a specific sales target. (The example is also based on a true scenario)

We are not saying that you should cut ties with current customers, however, there are boundaries to everything. Focus on actively pursuing new and potential customers throughout your career. Here’s a great quote from Bill Gates; “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” That converts into, thinking of what you can do differently to avoid similar problems.

Time is Gold. Time is Money.

These 2 idioms are a great example when it comes to customer service. You can either waste your whole day dealing with that one unreasonable customer, or you can gain two to three new customers in a day. If you have done your best in resolving an issue but the customer is still unsatisfied, get assistance! Do not be shy to ask for help from fellow colleagues. Different people have different approach in dealing with customers. By saying that, we do not mean you are not up to par, but sometimes, 2 is better than 1. Do not let a customer stop you from doing what you do best. If servicing a customer is your forte, continue to do better and plan out on different strategies. Know that you are the professional here and not the customer. You need their trust and confidence in you.

All in all, believe in yourself! You can even opt to take up a professional course on customer service if you wish to conquer the service industry.