Customers are always right? Maybe not…

The notion that the customer is always right has been around for over one hundred years after it was created by the owner of a department store in London back in 1909. Since, then, it seems as if this foolishness has become a mantra in business but, in reality, it ends up hurting your business in the end. So, why is that?

  • The simple reality of taking this nonsense to heart is that research has proven that such a reliance on this turn of phrase will damage employee morale which, in turn, ends up with your people giving out terrible customer service. Many companies have discovered that, just because someone comes into your store or avails themselves of your products and services, it does not give these people any manner of right to abuse the company’s employees. Too many businesses, especially small businesses, will side with a customer over an employee before even hearing both sides. If you don’t understand the damage this does to your company’s basic structure and morale, then it is time for you to go and do something else because the smart business owners are siding with the employees they originally hired because they felt these people will help them build a successful company.
  • The smallest of slights will create huge resentments in your employees as time goes on. If you are determined to follow “the customer is always right” mantra, then you will just be allowing rude, abusive and obnoxious people better service and treatment than your loyal, and far nicer, customers. That is a toxic path that may eventually destroy your business.
  • There are times when a business has to realize that they must fire a customer or a client because of their toxicity. Neither you or your employees deserve to be expose to, or have to tolerate, abusive and arrogant people. You need to inform these customers or clients that they are out. They can take their business somewhere else. The results of such a decision will mean greater customer services and employee loyalty as well as an improved working environment because you have demonstrated that you value your business, yourself, and your employees.

-Written by Kevin Sawyer