General Question

poofandmook's avatar

The customer is always right.

Asked by poofandmook (17285points) July 22nd, 2008

How true do you believe this statement to be?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

jlm11f's avatar

I am reminded of one of my favorite sites. You should check it out if you want to see several examples of when the customer isn’t right. The stories are hilarious and help make the customer and/or worker better understand the other.

The most important rule to remember in customer service (IMO) is that you should treat others like you would want to be treated.

poofandmook's avatar

@PnL: I got really upset one day at a particularly maddening string of customers, and after I Googled “stupid customers” I found that site. It’s now one of my daily stops :)

TheHaight's avatar

Not true, most of the time. I work in retail and have had to deal with a lot of phonys and con artists. I could be on here all day telling you some crazy stories. But you have to always remember that even though they might be wrong, you need to still treat them with respect (even if they deserve a slap in the face).

TheHaight's avatar

@Pnl; Thankyou for the website! I’m going to show my co-workers this tomorrow. :)

marinelife's avatar

A little business 101:

The cost of acquiring a customer in business is huge. (Marketing and cost of sales.)

Your best customers are the customers you already have. (They tend to be repeat buyers, upgraders, etc. and have a lower cost of sale.)

A lost customer has a high dollar consequence and can almost never be won back. That customer can also cost you other customers or potential customers by badmouthing your business.

Thus, the development of the aphorism that customer is always right. Usually, money you spend appeasing a customer will come back to you in the form of future sales and referrals.

poofandmook's avatar

@Marina: I understand the logistics behind it, but I’m wondering more along the lines of, I suppose, more extreme cases. Is it worth the few dollars to allow an employee (or yourself as an employee) to be completely humiliated and/or degraded at the cost of that aphorism?

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

No, the customer is not always right. Though the job of the employees is to please the customer, that only extends within reason.

Sure, if the customer says, “This shirt has a black smudge on it and there were none others in my size on the rack. Could you check if you have any more?” or “My drink is too warm. Could I please get another?” They would be right.

However, if the customer were to say something like, “You know, I’ve decided I don’t want the salmon…I’ll go with the ribs.” after the food has already been delivered, this would not be the case.

marinelife's avatar

@poofandmook Abuse is a different thing altogether. Foul language, screaming, that is not tolerable behavior in any setting.

iwamoto's avatar

as a retailer and techy, i’ve learned to never ever trust the customer blindly, sure i have some regulars who know what they’re talking about, but usually… today a man wanted a 250gb time capsule, he insisted it existed, he was convinced he was right, same goes for dozens of warranty cases “no, it just stopped working, i didn’t drop it”, when i inspect it closer, i can clearly tell it fell, even how it fell “no, you’re wrong, it just stopped working” so then you pressure them a little and they admit it fell….customer always right my ass…

marinelife's avatar

I could, my dear iwamoto, give the exact same rant in reverse for clerks and service people with examples. No one is always right. How about that?

iwamoto's avatar

sure, that’s true too, but i was just pointing out the customer isn’t always right, haha
we all make mistakes, i bet even i make mistakes from time to time, but i’m always arched on the best user experience, yet i’m always vigilant

willbrawn's avatar

when the customer is not an idiot then they might be right.

tinyfaery's avatar

When you’re a cocktail waitress, and I was for 2 1/2 years, the customer is never right. Unless, they aren’t drinking.

loser's avatar

no, I just have to act like they are

MacBean's avatar

Customers say, “Yes.” Retail workers say, “No.”

wildflower's avatar

The customer always thinks he’s right. Sometimes the role of a customer service person is to enlighten the customer as to what is actually right. Confrontations are not an effective way of doing this.

scamp's avatar

No customer is worth the type of stress you are speaking of poofandmook. When it gets to that point for me… ooops! We got disconnected!! They don’t pay me enough to deal with that type of abuse.

I have informed customers that I would end the call if they continued in an abusive manner, and then politely said goodbye as I hung up on them.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Sometimes I want to blow the customer’s brains out, but I can’t, so I act like they are

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