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Is the Customer Really always Right ?

Posted 8 April 2013

In short, the answer is Yes, but only if they’re the right customer for you.

The fact is that as a business owner, you know how you can best give your customers outstanding service.  You see, meet, deal with and understand a wide range of customers for your product or service, and your business has adapted to be able to meet the needs of those customers.  You have moulded the way you do business to ensure that they are delighted with what you provide each and every time they come back … otherwise you wouldn’t still be in business, would you ?

And then along comes a customer who wants something different.  Who questions how you provide your service, your payment terms, your after-sales support, your pricing. “The Customer’s Always Right” says the voice in your head, and so you bend over backwards to meet their demanding needs.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation, isn’t in true that 9 times out of 10 it goes wrong?  Either they’re not satisfied, they don’t pay on time or they don’t ever come back ?  And in the meantime you and your team are stressed and stretched, maybe upsetting or letting down your real customers and letting your normal standards slip ?

One sign of a confident and competent business is that they train their customers to do business with them.  RIght from the outset of the relationship, before the sale has even been made in some cases, they are positioning to their customers what to expect, and why they should expect it.  They are prepared to say, “This is the way we do business, and this is why we do it that way… to delight our customers 100% of the time”.  And most importantly they are ready to deliver against that promise, 100% of the time.

So what are your rules for customer delight ?  And have you got your customers fully trained to keep to them ?