Is The Customer Always Right?

September 30, 2016

Complicated customers. We run into them all the time. Whether your line of business is law, medicine, construction or just about anything else, the same question always arises: “Is the customer always right?” Does your tongue ever hurt from biting it so much after speaking with a challenging customer? How many times a day do you have to grit your teeth or take plenty of deep breaths trying to calm yourself down? If this sounds anything like what you go through on the daily, it may be time to evaluate your standard “customer is always right” approach that is creating frustration in the work environment.

To better explain this, below are a couple of real life scenarios between Abby Connect and some of our challenging clients.

Sometimes They Are Plain Out Wrong

We once had a client who from the get-go was demanding, and this was an individual who we scheduled appointments for. The calendar was easy to navigate. The instructions were not too complicated, and the receptionists were excited to start taking the calls. Then, after each appointment was booked, our client would call enraged time and time again. There were no grounds to speak calmly so we could quickly resolve the issue. Instead, there was yelling and disrespect on our client’s part. After examining the issue with the schedule, she found that there was an error occurring with the company who provides her calendar system and not us.

Sometimes they are simply wrong and sometimes they won’t admit it. What’s important in these situations is to handle the matter with a leveled head, do not jump to conclusions, and remember that your loyalty is with your employees first. Employees usually get the short end of the stick when your HR foundations aren’t strong enough, but if you truly believe in your services, your staff and what you have to offer, then your staff must know that you will support them. This avoids resentment because your employees must know that you value them enough to not overlook a situation where the client is out of line.

Sometimes They Will Never Be Happy

Time, money and energy are invaluable. You only have so much of these until you start to burnout, and it is important to guard these resources from clients who will just never be happy no matter what you do. Use your limited resources on reasonable clients, and say goodbye to those who are impossible to please. It’s better to have loyal customers that you can pour into rather than many clients who your managers and staff are going to burnout by trying to please. The president of our company has turned away many clients for this reason. It is just not worth having an unhappy staff that works hard to make the most pleasant experience for a client who in return doesn’t accept our team’s dedication.

Sometimes They Aren’t Listening

We have had many situations in which clients call upset because something did not go their way. Whether they did not read their contract fully, whether they did not read the instructions provided correctly or whether they misunderstood the message relayed to them, some people hear but don’t listen. A client who does not listen attentively and in return tries to get their way is not always right.

In the end it is about realizing that a client does not symbolize money. A client symbolizes a relationship that can either hurt or improve your company. By no means am I saying to not try to help your clients the best you can… absolutely do… but know when to stop those associations that are weighing your company down.

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