Unlike the common belief, the customer is not always right. They may be unreasonable and/or exhibit unethical. So the title of this post is more correct. Customers Always Right – Not Necessarily. One example of this is the “serial returner.”

These prior posts take the customer’s perspective:


Customers Always Right – Not Necessarily

An Infographic

As ROI Solutions notes:

“For decades, one adage has enabled horrible behavior from angry customers and encouraged managers to disregard needs of employees. Everyone’s heard ‘the customer is always right’ at least once in their career. After many years of circulation, it’s time to put the tried-and-not-so-true phrase to bed. In reality, the customer is not always right. And pretending otherwise can cause long-term damage that extends far beyond a single lost customer.”

“When an employee encounters an abusive customer, it may be tempting to side with the customer to save the sale. However, supporting the customer gains you little (customers like this tend to spend less anyway). Also, it can easily cost you the loyalty and trust of your employee. In fact, unhappy employees lead to unhappy customers.Siding with abusive customers creates an us-versus-them mentality between employees and managers as well as employees and customers. Unfortunately, that ultimately leads to poor customer service and high employee turnover rates.”

Check out this infographic from ROI.

Customers Always Right - Not Necessarily

A Podcast

Furthermore, according to Daniela Forte, reporting for Multichannel Merchant:

“Retailers will often talk about personalizing and customizing for its best and most loyal customers. But this doesn’t address the subset of people who actively take up time and resources of the customer experience staff. As social media and brand complaint Web sites are more prevalent, it has become increasingly more difficult to control the narrative. In the latest MCM CommerceChat podcast, Stan Lucas, Principal of Lucas Advising, LLC., talks about whether the customer is always right and how it can have an impact on the customer and the retailer alike.”


3 Replies to “Customers Always Right – Not Necessarily”

  1. In any industry, there are customers you don’t want. They don’t have to be evil; they may simply be overly time-consuming or demanding of service that is beyond the value of what they are buying. One of the tricks to profitability is being able to distinguish customers with a low or negative net present value from those you really want, and then politely encouraging the former to shop with your major competitor. No need to burn bridges; they might return as more valuable customers in the future.

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