Is the Customer always Right?

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We are in an era where competition is cut throat. Now, either the dense population is to be blamed for the above or Inflation. Either way, a business needs courteous customer support, so that each customer can leave happy and content and that is a full proof guarantee that this customer will be back.

Customer Service is becoming an essential element in all kind of businesses that thrive today in the market.

There are some ground rules for Customer Support such as:

  • · Always wear a smile until the store hours.
  • · Patiently help customers to find the product in different aisles.
  • · Be near the phone and receive queries about their product sold and listen patiently to their customers no matter how loud or soft-spoken they are.
  • · Have a logbook to record the complaints and make sure to return their calls when a solution comes up.
  • · Sense the feeling of customer dissatisfaction and throw in something more.

Even with the best of customer service, there are times when customers are not happy with the service of a business and talk ill.

Solution?

None. Because a customer has the money to make the purchases thus, even if he is wrong, he is right.

Instance 1

Many businesses offer a 30 days trial period of their product with money back guaranteed. Customer comes back with the product all broken and apart on the 29th day.

When customer representative asks what happened to the product, he replies, “did not like the product.”The customer representative could have argued asking, "If you did not like the product, why did you have it for 29 days? How has it fallen apart?"

But instead, gave his money back without any questions.

Customer is not right, but he gets his money back!

Instance 2

Customer goes shopping for groceries and accidentally drops the jar, which breaks and splashes the product all over. When a customer representative approaches him, the customer highly confidently says, “This mess was there even before I arrived.” Technology has made all thriving businesses put cameras in their shops. This incident can be seen on tape. The customer is not right, but the associate accepts it and gets help to clean the mess.

Instance 3

A customer arrives in a restaurant and orders food. When the food arrives, she calls on the waiter and insists that the food on the table is not what she had ordered. There is a couple of unpleasant exchanges between the manager and customer. Finally, customer wins even if she is wrong and gets a free meal.

Instance 4

A customer rents a room in a resort. She enters the room finds the room spick and span and starts to unpack her bag and put her stuff in the cupboard. When she puts her bag down, she notices a bug on the bed. Now, she is all frantic and calls room service. The associate comes in and tries to make amends by suggesting that maybe the bug came from her bag. But, the customer refuses to agree with it and threatens to voice her incident publicly once checked out from this resort. Things get ugly. Even if, the customer is wrong, she is right! She gets a free night stay.

There are ALL kinds of people on this planet. Unfortunately, businesses cater to all of them.

Shout Out to unruly Customers

Unless you are self sufficient to grow your food, make clothes, and be totally independent to be by your self. Refrain from such a behavior.

You are Social Animals and you ought to be decent and show respect for businesses cause it’s a reversible reaction, and just as they are dependent on customers to survive, you need the commodities to live.

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Comments 35 comments

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

I like this.. but customers have been taking the backseat for so many years.. of course they're right.. even when they're wrong because a happy customer will remember what you did and support your business.. I think we lost that good customer service here in the tri-state area.. very good hub and examples.. bless you Ruch :)


Larry Wall 4 years ago

It depends on the circumstances. My wife and I were in a restaurant once, each ordered a salad and upon their arrivial we noticed a hair in each one. We immediately ask for a replacement. The manager came out and apologize and said the meal was on the house and threw in dessert. We remained regular customers.

Hotel rooms are a different animal. I have a brother-in-law who travels internationally for his job. He walked in his room one day and found the housekeeper using his toothbrush.

He reported to the manager, suggesting the housekeeper be given some lessons on hygiene. I think my brother-in-law got a free breakfast or some extra value points.

I was in a small hotel once and wrote up with a roach in my bed. As I checked out, I was asked if I enjoyed my stay. I said other than the roach hogging the cover, it was all right. As I told my story, I was given the room night for free. The clerk admittted they have had problems with roaches recently.

Customer service people need to know how to handle customers and customers need to know how to handle the customer service people to get the best results without getting the service rep in trouble. When you return to that store or restaurant, you usually get outstanding service.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

I agree... customer service and communication skills are so vital to any job that has to interface with people. But at the same time we need to learn how to challenge that vexatious customer who may be pulling a fast one, or is rude, violent or downright obnoxious like in the instances here, Ruchira. I think customer service skills will include both how to deal with a happy, good customer and equally to manage conflict and trouble!


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

You are right, we are social animals and we need to be patient and considerate. Great hub.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States Author

Thanks Frank.

Customers sure get the edge, but they are entitled to respect the owner and not misuse it.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

At my company we met the challenge by eliminating right and wrong, There was only best and better. It didn't matter if we gave a customer perks. They were just going to give it back and more.


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

It drives me insane how rude some people can be. Especially to those in the service industry as you've mentioned. At my first job working at a Frozen Yoghurt shop, I can't tell you how many people would order one thing, then change their mind and make you look like the idiot who got the order wrong. And what can you do? Not a lot but smile and exchange the order. If only respect and courtesy was a two way street between all customers and employees.

Interesting hub! :)


grinnin1 profile image

grinnin1 4 years ago from st louis,mo

I realized how rude the general public can be when I was in high school working as a waitress. Customers were overtly rude and sometimes trying to find something to complain about. When I became a business owner, this was less of a problem, because I was an adult and owned the business, so people are less likely to step all over you, but still the occasional customer would be rude and it was difficult for me to deal with. I draw the line at respectful conversation. If someone crosses the line, I would give them a coffee on the house and tell them to patronize another coffeeshop. You have to decide what you will and will not put up with when it's your life and livelihood. For the most part, my customers were great, but in other industries I think that the customer, (like the world) has gotten more self centered and less polite, which is sad for businesses and sad for America. Great hub!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Ruchira, wonderful points you make here...and I love everyone's feedback re: their experiences. The cartoons you added to this hub: priceless! LOL Rated up/U/I


Lipnancy profile image

Lipnancy 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

Thank you, I so wanted to produce a hub on this topic but I did not know how to do it without seeming totally non-caring and against serving the customer. I loved your your hub and the customer is not always right.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Thank you so much for this Ruchira. So true. The "customer is always right," may be a bit over-used and abused. I surely recall having to deal with nasty, rude, obnoxious and very unreasonable people, who could NEVER be pleased.

This sort of behavior should not be tolerated, no matter what. You are correct,. .....UP+++


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I think if the customer is wrong, they should be told in a nice way that they are wrong, after all the people who provide the service has feelings too. I know of a woman who deliberately spilled milk in the floor and sued the company because she fell. Great article Ruchira...


shruti sheshadri profile image

shruti sheshadri 4 years ago from Bangalore, India

Well written and highly useful! Never realized the importance of customer service until now! Voted up :)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

You are right but so many customers abuse the system and make prices go up and leave distrustful service for the rest of us. Those who are rude, obnoxious, and abuse the service make it hard for those of us who are polite an honest. Very good hub and an excellent format for discussion.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

People take advantage of what Marshall Field said, "Right or wrong, the customer is always right."

We see it happen all the time and it is a shame. If businesses didn't get abused so much maybe they would be able to keep their prices down just a little bit.

I had to edit and add, I laughed when I hit the button to post my comment and then saw what Tammy had written. I didn't copy her comment ... honest :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

This is very true Ruchira. I don't think customer service is what it used to be but I think lots of customer's take advantage of loop holes. Like returning stuff they have broken....it just drives prices up as companies pad for expected losses. Shame for everyone.

Great hub!


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

You nailed it here Ruchira! Been in the Customer Service for many years and even now as an FA, I see and encounter a lot of this nonsense and opportunists. They get into my nerve specially when they demand as if they own the company. And, it sucks that we have to still smile and be polite with them just because they are the customers. But common, whatever happened to decency. Yah, sure it's a matter of principle. So, courtesy back to the customers despite them being rude.

Never a win-win situation when you have these kind of people. (:

Up and away to this clever hub!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Ruchira, you are so right about customers trying to scam businesses. I concede that the customer is not always right. The guy with the broken product needed to be asked how it was broken. He shouldn't just get away with bringing it back. My daughter is a waitress and the stories she can tell about the things people pull to try to get a free meal.

If there is a legitimate complaint, I can understand. I don't understand deceit in order to get something for free, though.

Great hub! Votes and shared! :-)


psychicdog.net profile image

psychicdog.net 4 years ago

Enjoyable read, thanks Ruchira . My experience - in the building industry customers often have no idea what you are talking about - the visual or logic skills required in the building trade take time to develop - telling a customer less is often the best policy so they don't get the wrong ideas in their head. You tell them things and you know they're uncomprehending so you focus on the result they are looking for. ON the other hand, some customers 'think' they know and you have to somehow make them think their views are valid but if you did it their way the job would cost the earth! Best customers defer to your opinions and experience - the worst think they have a divine right to treat you anyway they like just because they are using and paying you for a job. If you can't avoid them - you just got to suck it up!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

As customers, we do need to be polite and respectful with the store / restaurant / bank / hotel employees. However, there are many times that we do need to stand up for our rights and make sure that we are getting the service and product that we were expecting. It is about communication and everyone treating the other with dignity and respect. Voted up.


vibesites profile image

vibesites 4 years ago from United States

Yes, you are right. Even if the customers are wrong, act rudely, or abusing their rights, they still are, well, right. It is them that we depend the future of our businesses. We just have to be really patient in dealing with them.


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

I agree...because of money and reputation, businesses in almost any industry, retail or otherwise, are put in the position to have to just simply accept the customer's unreasonable angst. I love this and am socially sharing.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Awesome write Ruchira. Yes, the customer is even right when wrong.

I remember being in a store once, when a customer who had just taken a hot dog to put cheese & chilli on it from the dispenser machine, spilled the entire thing onto the floor. She then proceeded to ask for a replacement from the store clerk. Incidentally, all this while she was having a heated talk with someone on the cell phone.

The clerk had no option but to replace the stuff.

Voted up & awesome.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I am not one to complain - however I once went to this restaurant where the customer was not right and they didn't rectify the situation. In fact, I won't ever go back there again. Basically, I really wanted to try this place and I found a coupon so we decided to give it a go. I had the waiter clarify the coupon first and when we got our check they forgot to use it. So I talked to them again and they apologized and brought it back. However, when they brought it back, it seemed as if the numbers were not adding up. Well, what happened was in order to use the coupon, we had to order drinks. My husband and I don't order drinks. Not because we are cheap, but because we prefer to drink water instead. Well, to use the coupon, he ended up charging us for the drinks. When I talked to the manager, he clarified why he did this and offered me a drink to go... shady place of business. If they would have clarified I needed a drink I would have at least enjoyed it with my meal. I was so dissappointed. But those that complain just to cause a fuss... yeah... they irritate me!


KDuBarry03 4 years ago

I deal with bad customers on a daily basis. This one time, I saw a customer stole an item and I asked, "are you gonna pay for that?" and we got into a huge argument over it; so, then I just told him to get out of the store before I call the cops. Sometimes hen the customer is wrong, in this case, I would argue it (sorry for not listening to common courtesy) Overall, great hub, Ruchira!!


William Beale profile image

William Beale 4 years ago from Woodbridge

When you make Hosiptality your main focus, all sorts of rewards will follow


Dame Scribe profile image

Dame Scribe 4 years ago from Canada

I don't think service people should get treated badly due to customers. I've had customers place a order then lie and complain to the manager, they asked for something else entirely and yes, I got in trouble.


miasmom profile image

miasmom 4 years ago from Memphis, Tn

I went to a dollar store the other day. I went to check out, and the clerk just stood there. What ever happened to good customer service? A "how are you today, or "did you find what you were looking for?, or just a simple "hello" would be great. Some people just don't realize how blessed they are to even have a job.


miasmom profile image

miasmom 4 years ago from Memphis, Tn

I went to a dollar store the other day. I went to check out, and the clerk just stood there. What ever happened to good customer service? A "how are you today, or "did you find what you were looking for?, or just a simple "hello" would be great. Some people just don't realize how blessed they are to even have a job.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Very good Ruchira! I hope many customers read this article and I hope they learn a thing or two or three from it! :)


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

Both Customers and workers, have to be polite and respectful.. It has to be realized - from the customers perspective - that sellers work for the company , they do not represent the company itself .. On the other hand the sellers have to appreciate the fact that when someone gives money he inevitably becomes quite demanding ,,

Thanks for your interesting hub,, Voted up!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Larry,

Such humble customers are hardly found. People work hard for their money and if they find anything disrupt or out of the blue...they tend to lose their cool and become furious.

However, there are customers who just tough to handle 'cause of their background...

Thanks for such beautiful incidents...you sure do make a good customer :) cheers!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States Author

I agree Doc. It is a two way street for the customers and the retailers.

Thanks for stopping by with your valuable feedback!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A brilliant hub and thanks for sharing.

Eddy.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

As a business owner and consumer, I do believe the customer is always right and, unfortunately, a bad reputation and bad word of mouth travels faster then a good one. While most customers are honest, there are some that take advantage of the system. It's just part of life.

My hub "Five-er Up_ deals with an incident I had where the customer (me) was not treated as if he were right. In fact, the customer was called a liar. The customer (me) no longer gives business to that company, and, of course,t ells everyone else to do the same.

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