Most people have heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” But that’s an outdated axiom that doesn’t work in the modern business world. It used to be thought of as a motto that would promote good customer service from employees and lead to customer satisfaction. These days, it is more likely to cause headaches all around.
Customer Satisfaction Comes From Supporting Employees
Endorsing a “customer is always right” approach to business undermines your employees instead of promoting customer service. It creates an us-against-them mentality if you always side with objectionable or unreasonable customers over those who work for you.
In his book The Customer Comes Second, Hal F. Rosenbluth says that workers who know their employer values them care more about the customers. They are happier in their jobs and are motivated to treat customers well and with respect. Stephen Covey said, “Treat your employees exactly how you want them to treat your best customers.”
The Customer Isn’t An Expert – YOU Are
Customers believe they are experts when it comes to maintenance for their fleet. But you are the one who knows your business inside and out. You know the best products and services for fleet maintenance. You also know what price is fair for the customer and profitable for you.
Nobody Likes Change
Many customer issues arise when a company makes a change. It might be change to a product, an entire line, or the way they do things. They don’t care that you are trying to improve your business or their experience. They just want to stick with maintaining their fleet in the same old way they always have. Staying stagnant to keep from upsetting customers in hopes of improving customer satisfaction will backfire in the end.
Some Customers Will Never Be Happy
Some customers may have valid issues or concerns. However, there are some who seem to look for problems and things to complain about. Trying to cater to people who are impossible to please is a waste of resources. It can also break down employee morale. In both cases, customer satisfaction won’t improve and your business suffers in other ways, as well.
Putting Customers In Their Proper Place
Just because customers aren’t always right, that doesn’t mean that they’re never right. It also doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them or that it is impossible to have a supportive work environment and effectively retain business.
Customer satisfaction specialists say you can’t completely ignore customer feedback, but you also should not take it to heart. While you can’t avoid difficult customers entirely, you can use the experience to create a plan for avoiding similar situations in the future.
As for keeping employees happy, that serves two purposes. First, it makes your business a positive place where workers want to do their best, and that includes pleasing customers. The result is happy customers, and happy customers are repeat customers.
Second, happy employees are effective for drumming up new business. They will be more consistent, make less mistakes, and productivity will go up.
In conclusion, there are better ways to improve customer satisfaction than believing the customer is always right.