Is the customer always right?

Bottom line, customers are what make or break a business. Without them, you have no sales. Just one upset customer could create a backlash of complaints and negative referrals that ultimately leaves a business with a poor reputation and a decreased turnover. But does that mean we should follow the adage ‘the customer is always right?’

  In one sense, allowing the customer to be right in the middle of disputes is the smart way to handle business relations. It is not worth it to risk destruction by insisting on being right. Sometimes it is best to just stay focused on the big picture and let things go. It is also essential that you don’t forget the customers that helped make your business what it is today.

  Likewise, customer service experiences are one of the leading causes of customer loyalty and customer loss. Every customer matters. Therefore, businesses should strive to create an environment of consistent extra-mile type service.

  Customer retention, whilst not free, is significantly less expensive than customer acquisition.Satisfied customers multiply and often without big advertising budgets, word of mouth goes a long way. Industries are tight nit with people moving within the same circles and taking recommendations from their peers.

  Whilst this all makes sense, we need to consider that sales people are there to sell ideas and products that sometimes a customer doesn’t realise that they want, but a sales person sees a need. – It is a fix to their problem or provides increased revenue by offering something new. Customers may think they are an expert in their area, but sales people should be more knowledgeable about the products and services they are selling and extremely skilled in matching the right product or service to the need. So, if a customer is disagreeing with a recommendation or demanding something you can’t deliver, remember you are the expert in your field. Obviously, your customer's experience matters, but bending over backwards to give them what they want instead of what they need doesn't make business sense. This doesn't mean you shouldn't still treat customers with the utmost respect. Instead, you should put confidence behind your view and have an informed discussion with your customers to table all the ideas so hopefully logical decisions can be made.

  In the end the customer will respect you and value your input and in turn create the customer loyalty that businesses thrive from, which you could say, makes both you and them right…


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