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6 Reasons why the customer is not always right

by YELLOW 47 Days

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'The customer is always right' started as a slogan for London's Selfridges over a hundred years ago, in 1909. Since then reality has shown us that there are situations when (surprise, surprise) the customer isn't actually right. Here is how to successfully deal with difficult customers, without blindly following this old-fashioned, and unrealistic, customer care adage.

Employees shouldn't be pitted against customers

Customers can't always come before employees. If you constantly undermine your employees' authority in the workplace, they can easily start to resent their job and no longer trust your judgment. They can start thinking that they are less valuable to you than your customers. Backing up your employees in the face of difficult customers will inevitably make them feel happier and more secure.

Unreasonable customers will waste your time and resources

Every company has its own limitations, and so does every employee within it - be it in terms of money, time or energy. If a customer is never satisfied with what you offer them - despite your best efforts - don't waste your limited resources on trying to entertain their every demand. Move on. Your business doesn't exist solely for that customer. You really can't please everyone.

You don't need to keep EVERY customer

Having all the customers you could possibly want doesn't always mean you will make more money or reach ultimate success. When customers are constantly abusive or rude, it's not a good idea to try and keep them around. Bad customers will crush your team's morale and increase their stress levels. So if, business-wise, you're in it for the long haul, do your best to avoid this kind of customer.

Bad customers create bad experiences for others

Certain customers act irrationally on purpose, to gain an unfair advantage over your employees and challenge their confidence. Don't let obnoxious customers think they can get away with being a nightmare. Train your employees to deal with unreasonable clients appropriately. Make sure these clients' behaviour doesn't negatively impact the rest of your customers.

No one wants poor customer care and unhappy employees

Put your staff first, and they will gladly put your customers first. Valuing your employees will motivate them to go the extra mile and make your customers and the rest of their colleagues happy. Building a solid relationship of mutual trust with your staff can indirectly affect your customers' perception of your business. It might help them realise that, although you value them too, they won't benefit from being nasty to your employees.

Money isn't everything

It's common for consumers to have unrealistic expectations of what a company can do to keep them satisfied. While it's important to do your utmost to keep your customer happy, there are limits to what you can do. No amount of profit is going to make pleasing every single demand worthwhile, if resources start getting wasted in the meantime. Don't be nervous about cutting ties with those who constantly make unrealistic demands and cause friction. Instead, focus your efforts on actively engaging with your loyal customers and pursuing new ones.  

To help your team deal with difficult customers, have a look at our business tips on how to keep your own employees motivated, as well as happy. You can also brush up on your customer care and employee management knowledge by finding a good book on the subject from any of the Book Shops listed on Yellow! We can make your life easier, every time. Just visit www.yellow.com.mt!

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