Home > Customer Service > The customer is always right - Not!

The customer is always right - Not!

Whoever came up with the idea that the customer is always right never met some of my clients. stcktng;

Is "the customer always right"? - by Thomas
It's not a black or white issue. You have to approach it from a wider perspective. - by Wonderboy
It's not a black or white issue. You have to approach it from a wider perspective.
What kind of wider perspective? - by Thomas
What kind of wider perspective?
For example in carpet cleaning, the usual complaint I've got about Scotchgarding carpet and furniture was "It doesn't work." Going over the benefits and guarantees were fruitless (a perfect zero).

I've finally started turning some of these holdouts around when I explained how Scotchgarding worked and its purpose ("it helps you keep your carpets and furniture clean..." which is different than saying, "It keeps your carpets and furniture clean").

It took me over two years to figure out that some customers were being mislead to expect more than what was reasonable.

There are some businesses that adopt as their philosophy that the customer is always right (a Home Depot branch accepted a bad tire back from a customer - even though they've never sold tires from that store). - by Wonderboy
For example in carpet cleaning, the usual complaint I've got about Scotchgarding carpet and furniture was "It doesn't work." Going over the benefits and guarantees were fruitless (a perfect zero).

I've finally started turning some of these holdouts around when I explained how Scotchgarding worked and its purpose ("it helps you keep your carpets and furniture clean..." which is different than saying, "It keeps your carpets and furniture clean").

It took me over two years to figure out that some customers were being mislead to expect more than what was reasonable.
Very smart. thmbp2;

There are some businesses that adopt as their philosophy that the customer is always right (a Home Depot branch accepted a bad tire back from a customer - even though they've never sold tires from that store).
Maybe this kind of things leads people to expect more than what is reasonable with other companies. :dun - by Thomas
Thomas,

I guess what I'm trying to say in a nutshell is that we often take things for granted. We need more perspective and a certain drive to check things out. - by Wonderboy
Thomas,

I guess what I'm trying to say in a nutshell is that we often take things for granted. We need more perspective and a certain drive to check things out.
I'm probably flustered. I've had people come in and think they can act however they want and that I'm going to put up with it because they are the customer. Wrong. :gre - by Thomas
Maybe this is what people mean when they say you have to have a thick skin to be in sales. ;bl - by Thomas
Maybe this is what people mean when they say you have to have a thick skin to be in sales. ;bl
You ought to try customer service. It'd broaden your knowledge about customers. - by Wonderboy
You ought to try customer service. It'd broaden your knowledge about customers.
What kind of knowledge? People are people right. They are going to act the way they are going to act. I think my problem is I don't like the way they act a lot of the time.

I also don't think it's okay for the customer to be sneaky or guarded. - by Thomas
In customer service, you should hear what the customers say about the sales people.

Much of what happens with customers' behavior is based on a bad experience with a sales rep, directly or what they hear by word of mouth. I brought up a perfect example the other day where customers were led to expect more than they should from Scotchgarding their carpets. When I figured out what the real issue was, I changed my rebuttal to explain the purpose of Scotchgarding which melted resistance and made customers more sensible to me (I worked sales back then, but I had customer service skills I put to good use later on).

From my experience, you can improve 80% of the time (the 80/20 rule). What you're experiencing is part of the game (may not be easy at first, try experimenting a bit and you may amaze yourself). - by Wonderboy
What you're experiencing is part of the game (may not be easy at first, try experimenting a bit and you may amaze yourself).
Very frustrating. The customer gets to act any way they want and the salesperson has to figure what to do about it. thmbdn2; - by Thomas
Very frustrating. The customer gets to act any way they want and the salesperson has to figure what to do about it. thmbdn2;
For me, that's par for the course and if you can figure out what's going on, it can be very rewarding. - by Wonderboy
For me, that's par for the course and if you can figure out what's going on, it can be very rewarding.
Thanks for being straight with me. It's nice to know that others see what I'm talking about. - by Thomas
Very frustrating. The customer gets to act any way they want and the salesperson has to figure what to do about it. thmbdn2;
Sales involves working with people and this be a challenge at times because of human nature and people's personalities. You could always fire the problem customers. msnwnk; - by Houston
Seek the cause not the effect.thmbp2; - by job ready strategist
Seek the cause not the effect.thmbp2;
What could the cause be? :cu - by Thomas
What could the cause be? :cu
That’s when the paradigm shift comes into being.thmbp2; - by job ready strategist
Thatís when the paradigm shift comes into being.thmbp2;
What are you talking about? :cu - by Thomas
What are you talking about? :cu

The cause (core) is the underlying reason the customer is acting the way they are. Most of us attempt to fix the effect (what we see, feel, hear, and smell) with little or no success.
When we understand or recognize the cause (why), we can address the challenge and thereby achieve longer and more lasting success.thmbp2; - by job ready strategist
The cause (core) is the underlying reason the customer is acting the way they are. Most of us attempt to fix the effect (what we see, feel, hear, and smell) with little or no success.
When we understand or recognize the cause (why), we can address the challenge and thereby achieve longer and more lasting success.thmbp2;
If a customer came in and was being a jerk you'd try to figure out why he was being a jerk? What would you say? - by Thomas
If a customer came in and was being a jerk you'd try to figure out why he was being a jerk? What would you say?
It is always easy to dismiss the customer, if that is what we choose to do. We have the power to do so.

If the client is being a jerk (effect) and we did a little probing and found out that his son just got expelled from school (cause), we can than show empathy/understanding towards his situation.
Once we accomplish this, we can than get back to the business at hand.thmbp2; - by job ready strategist
It is always easy to dismiss the customer, if that is what we choose to do. We have the power to do so.

If the client is being a jerk (effect) and we did a little probing and found out that his son just got expelled from school (cause), we can than show empathy/understanding towards his situation.
Once we accomplish this, we can than get back to the business at hand.thmbp2;
I think if you told a customer that you didn't like their attitude and tried to probe the cause they would dismiss you. They might not think they even have an attitude and now the focus would be on a personality clash and not the reason they came by in the first place. - by Thomas
I think if you told a customer that you didn't like their attitude and tried to probe the cause they would dismiss you. They might not think they even have an attitude and now the focus would be on a personality clash and not the reason they came by in the first place.

I didn't say tell the person you don't like their attitude. That was not my statement.
You probe by showing care/interest towards his emotional behavior. thmbp2;

. - by job ready strategist
I didn't say tell the person you don't like their attitude. That was not my statement.
You probe by showing care/interest towards his emotional behavior. thmbp2;

.
I would like to understand this. If a guy comes in and is being a jerk how do you show "care/interest towards his emotional behavior"? :cu - by Thomas
Thomas, I can admit that it's not hard to find people with seemingly unrealistic expectations or who make seemingly unreasonable demands. This is especially true if you are looking for or if you're own demeanor is such that you are attracted to individuals demonstrating this behavior.

With that said, the question is what are you going to do about it. You could as another member suggested fire the prospects or customers that you don't seem to be getting along with. If you have enough qualified leads to work then you might be in a position to act on that suggestion.

Another suggestion would be to recalibrate your own beliefs and expectations. It reads like you're becoming frustrated when people don't act the way you believe they should or expect them to act. You might benefit by asking yourself where did those beliefs or expectations come from and are they serving you well.

Yet another suggestion is to validate your own perception. No two people see the same event in exactly the same way. You might perceive a customer to be troublesome while the customer feels they are being helpful. Validating your perception can be as easy as asking for clarity.

sn; - by SalesGuy
You might be right SalesGuy. :bl - by Thomas
I would like to understand this. If a guy comes in and is being a jerk how do you show "care/interest towards his emotional behavior"? :cu
there is no magic answer, expect to really care. If i truly try to see where someone is coming from 90% of the time i can. there is always going to be the 10% of people that are unreasonable. You have to ask probing questions. like what was done to make you fell that way? etc.. - by benjamin-benjamin
With that said, the question is what are you going to do about it. You could as another member suggested fire the prospects or customers that you don't seem to be getting along with. If you have enough qualified leads to work then you might be in a position to act on that suggestion.
It's your job, your life, your sanity, and your decision on how to handle it. If you're turning more people away than normal it might be time to take a look in the mirror. If the problem really is the customer then turn them over to someone else. msnwnk; - by Houston
I'll look in the mirror and drink more coffee. Thank You everyone this has been a big help. thmbp2; - by Thomas
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