Darren Taylor

Feb 15, 2019

The Customer Isn’t Always Right, But How To Deal With Them?

In marketing, that old and accepted saying of the customer is always right has been disproved to be true over and over again. There is a limit to how far the customer can push their rights and the cultural norms. Businesses cannot be bullied and taken advantage of by an irate customer.

This would open up the floodgates to customers that see themselves as almost entitled to and abusing your business. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are now, so falling for this saying that the customer is always on the correct line and you must bow your head to them, is folly. Maybe it sounds good to get employees in the customer services departments to think a certain way about how they interact with consumers, but overall it just doesn’t hold water. In this modern world new threats are surfacing in the fact that, hackers may be imitating customers. How do you know that they are the right person? What if there is a false claim made that you know is not true, such as a product that is ordered but a customer says you didn’t deliver it to the right address but you are only going by what they gave you? It’s hard to admit that you are wrong in these sorts of scenario. So how do you deal with customers in similar situations?

Employ unique customer safety

Sadly, around 80% of small businesses that are attacked by hackers and malware end up collapsing within 1 or 2 years after the incident. It’s a very real threat that should be concerning your as hackers and malware creators don’t ever feel the need to rest. They will continue to improve and make highly intelligent codings that seek to steal as much customer data as you have, personal information as well as your business plans. It all begins with the access to your business. How can you trust that a customer that has signed up to an account, or is using your service online is really who they say they are? They will be working in a portal or hub that is directly linked to your servers and storage systems.

One way you can make sure that the right customer is logging in to his or her account is by making them jump through some technological hoops. The KYC check can be done in a number of ways but the most popular trending is facial recognition. The Credas app is one of those software that provides this for your customers. All they need to do is download the app onto their smartphones and using the front facing camera, take a selfie. They may also be required to do a specific command to show they are human such as covering their eye with their hand. This brilliant technology means that only the right customer, the one who is who they say they are gets access to their account with your business.

Market your public image

Social media is the new playground where businesses can either rise or fall. This is why many corporations and multinational companies have rather generic looking pages. They retweet videos about what they are doing and maybe give updates about their latest events etc. Very rarely will a business engage customers that are on these social media platform. This is of course to their detriment as social media is one of the best marketing tools that has ever existed. Don’t be afraid, speak with consumers that go onto your pages and leave comments. No doubt you’ll run into some extremely frustrated customers but as long as you’re polite and well mannered in your responses you won’t look like the bad guy. In this regard try not to air your dirty laundry in public and direct such customers to the proper channels in which they may be able to sort their issue out. The contact us page, email and phone number are the best ways to get customers with issues to communicate with you about the specifics that concern them.

The customer might be spreading false information without that intention. Social media is accessible and seen by everyone therefore you must not allow false information to fester and marinate for too long. This is one you should be engaging with customers online and making solutions and the truth be known. Other customers might be in the same boat, so making a public statement will clear things up and prevent further increasing the number of disgruntled customers.


mistakes in the order

Something that eats into businesses all the time is a screw up with the delivery of a product. The package can go missing, it can stay longer in the depot than it should and all manner of things can happen. However it’s vital that the customer also doesn’t make mistakes in the order. It’s not uncommon for customers to make mistakes when writing their address in the online checkout forms. Even if it’s just one digit that’s wrong, or perhaps one letter of a street name that is incorrect, this can cause the package to go to the wrong place.

If this does occur and your customer is angry that their package has not arrived in the specified time, it’s good to send them an email or text them to explain why this has happened. Many businesses might not even want to touch this and simply just ask for new address details, but it’s prudent to clear your name of any wrongdoing. You want this customer to keep shopping with you and thus, pointing out their mistake will make them blame themselves and not you. Your reputation in their eyes is still intact which is exactly what the whole point of this is. Their mistakes should not mean you end up paying for them even if they are your customer.

Abuse is not tolerable

Your employees are having to deal with all kinds of customers throughout the entire working day. It’s normal to run into a few customers that are completely out of order and using very rude language. It’s all well and good you the business owner saying that the customer is always right, but that’s not how your employees feel. They are the ones who will be dealing with foul language, shouting, very insulting comments and more from such customers. Eventually your workers will become miserable because they have to put up with abuse and can’t stick up for themselves when they have done nothing wrong. Slowly but surely, your workforce will lose motivation, passion and drive to please the customers.

What price are you willing to pay to please one customer? Is it really worth the negative long term effects that abuse will have on your workforce? The clear answer is no it’s not. If a customer is very rude on the phone, the employee should be encouraged to ask them politely to calm down and if they don’t stop their abuse that they are going to end the call. The customer may call him later but after repeated attempts to calm them down, if they refuse to extend common courtesy themselves then it shouldn’t be a one-way street. Verbal abuse is serious sometimes as employees may be under severe stress in their personal lives and putting up with something like that may harm them mentally and emotionally.

How about some knowledge

The customer doesn’t know the ins and outs of your product as much as you do. They are also not going to be an industry expert either. If there is something wrong with a product and or service, you should look into it in detail. The customer might not be doing something right in order to get the result they want. For example if you are selling an image editing service, a customer doesn’t know what you’re capable of in terms of quality etc. If they are unhappy with your service and or product because they expected something different, this may give cause to enlighten them on their misconception. Usually, you would reply back to their enquiry or complaint via an email message but you can also opt to ring them up. Setting the record straight by explaining their lack of knowledge in a polite way can actually go down well. Done with an educational tone and a willingness to teach or give them some knowledge, you slowly repair a failing relationship.

The customer is generally right. A great attitude to have if you’re in customer service and or a business that is trying to build up a core base. However, the customer is not god and they don’t have supreme control over your business. Engage with customers who are wrong online so false information is not spread. By that same token, don’t allow your workers to be abused and continued to be insulted by angry customers. Common courtesy is extended both ways and allowing your workers to become stressed for the sake of one order is not a healthy business practice. Rather than be a yes man or yes business, inform a customer when he or she is wrong about the intricacies of your products and or services. Exert some knowledge and correct them when they are wrong.

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