-Why we should abolish this saying.
The phrase “The Customer Is Always Right” haunts some more than others. Whether you are a business owner or a member of the service industry you know the weight this phrase carries. And you would also know the slew of abuse you can receive because of it. For some people, who have never worked in the service industry, you might say that we are overthinking it. But I assure you, we aren’t.
The History of The Phrase
“The customer is always right” is a motto or slogan used to encourage service workers to place high importance on customer satisfaction. Though not all bad, this was popularized by pioneering and influential merchants such as Harry Gordon Selfridge and Marshall Field. They argued that customer complaints should be dealt with seriously so that customers do not feel cheated. With all good intent, it was impossible to predict the abuse this term would dole out.
The term morphed into an ideology that absolved customers of wrong doings and placed the burden of happiness on the employee. Thus, destroying true customer service and replacing it with a fearful and hostile environment.
Why we should abolish “The Customer Is Always Right”
It Enables Bad Customers
You know that friend that let you drive home drunk that one time? That’s what the “customer is always right” ideology does. It simply enables and almost attracts ill-mannered customers. It permits abusive individuals to say and do as they please simply because they are correct by definition.
This “I can do no wrong” attitude makes it harder for employees to defuse and resolve situations without offering a refund. And for some cases, practically giving away more than what was lost by the consumer. Not to mention it takes away from serving the other well mannered consumers.
It’s Creates A Bad Workplace Culture
The environment you create for your employees is considered the workplace culture. This is a combination of leadership beliefs and behaviors that you want your company to express. Keeping in mind that this affects your organization’s employees, why would you create a one sided environment?
Upholding this ideology is a direct assault on your employees. It shows that their side of the story doesn’t matter and their livelihood can be taken away by a few bad apples. This fosters fear and in some cases an abusive workplace.
It Makes Customer Service Worse
To make this saying even more counter productive we at Advisight believe that it birthed the “Fake Service”. We all know what it looks like. It’s courteous but only surface deep. And it makes us uncomfortable because we know that the person assisting us, is only being pleasant to avoid a complaint.
The perception of the consumer has grown over time, causing the “Customer is Always Right” ideology to be examined. But no matter the case, being customer-centric means thinking about the experience of the consumer. The customer may not always be right, but being thoughtful in your approach to customer service will always serve the company well. Companies need to adopt healthier service practices and trust each employee.