‘The customer is always right’ is a well known phrase that was introduced back in 1909 by Harry Gordon. His target was to convince clients that they would get good service at his company. It was also used to convince employees to give good services to clients. An idea working in a two-way perspective. However, there is a need to abandon this phrase, and here are the reasons why:
It makes employees unhappy.
Of course, there are plenty of examples of bad employees giving bad or poor customer service. However, trying to solve this by ruling that the customer is always right is counter-productive. If your employees think you cannot support them when a customer is out of line, even a small problem can cause displeasure. This eventually results in dysfunctional employer-employee relationships.
It gives bad customers an unfair advantage.
Believing in the phrase ‘the customer is always right’ makes unruly customers get better service than the nice customers, albeit unwillingly. This makes the employees’ jobs much harder when trying to direct unruly customers according to the business’ laws. It’s important to ensure that clients are also taken under clear regulations that govern the business to avoid such scenarios.
Some customers are bad for business.
It’s all boils down to a simple matter of respect and dignity. It is a matter of treating your employees right and not an issue of whether the business will lose money on a customer in the long run. Most businesses think the more the customers the better- which is true for the most part- but some customers are simply bad for business. Why lose an integral and diligent employee due to a bad customer?
The phrase leads to bad customer service.
When you put employees first, they are well able to also put the customers first. Putting the employees first and you give them the motivation to put their best foot forward in service. It boosts the employees’ morale to know they work in an environment where they are listened to and cared for. A displeased employee will give bad service while a happy one will give good service.
Some customers are just wrong.
Some customers are just plain wrong. When a customer defies the rules and regulations of your business in the name of ‘the customer is always right’, the business is better off without that customer. A manager siding with unreasonable customers is a very bad idea that results in bad customer service. Ensure that your work ethics are equalized on both sides- both towards the employees and the customer, not just the employees.
It strains the management-employee relationship.
If the management or employer consistently sides with the wrong customers in times of conflicts, without listening to employees’ input, it demoralizes employees. This can result in hard feelings towards the managerial team. In return, the employees often end up being bitter to the management. This eventually ends up affecting the quality of work relationships and customer service.
Ensure to apply wisdom when handling such delicate matters. This is because, in the long run, your business might feel the negative effects of constantly applying the particular phrase without proper cause or justification.