A girl named Christina said this to me the other day; “Well Ashley, remember, the customer is always right”.
“BullShit!” I shouted in reply. “The customer isn’t always right!”
Just like you’re doing now, she stood there with wide eyes. One, because my sudden outburst of profanity was shocking and two, well I just debunked everything we’ve been programmed to believe all our lives.
“The customer is always right” has become a part of how we live, how we raise our kids and how we run our businesses.
But I have news for you-
The customer isn’t always right and I’m going to share with you the 3 reasons why in a bit but first, let me ask you?
Have you ever been to a store, purchased an item and then about a few months later, realized that you didn’t want it anymore because right now, you’d rather have the cash?
What did you do?
You probably packed the item back up, probably threw it into a Walmart shipping bag because at this point, you have no idea where’d the original bag is. Then you trotted off to the store and after standing in the customer service line for 15 mins, you realize that you’ve passed the return date on the receipt.
So when the middle aged woman behind the counter says next, you have a decision to make. Do you hide the receipt and claim you got the item as a gift and want to return it, or do you make up a story about how the item didn’t do as you were promised and you demand your money back.
Which takes me to my first point on why the customer isn’t always right:
• If they can’t get out of something the right way, they will make up a reason to get out another way.
What do I mean by this? Let’s say you are about to ship a car for a client. The client is eager to get their car moved so they immediately book with you.
Let’s say they call company XYZ and get a better rate. What do you think they will do? They’re going to call you up and argue that you promises the car would be picked up by today, even though they said next week or they might say your rate is too high and I want to cancel.
The client will simply make up a reason why you are wrong and they are right simply to get out of the deal.
The second reason why the customer isn’t always right is because,
• They don’t always think rational
Okay so in this case, let’s use a similar scenario. You have a client who wants to ship their car but they want you to move it for far less than the market rate. So on a trip from Florida to California, the market value might be $1100 but the client is convinced that his car should move for no more than $500 because the driver has 9 cars so 9×5 is $4500 which is a ton of money in their eyes.
The client doesn’t know that the driver has to pay for fuel, pay for food, pay taxes on fuel for every state he drives through and then pay himself plus keep his company afloat.
In this case, the client isn’t thinking rationally. So if you were to take the stance of okay $500, you’re doing something that’s not only bad for your business and the driver, but bad for the industry.
Which carries me to my finally point on why the customer isn’t always right:
• It’s bad for your business.
By now you should be able to predict what I’m going to say about why “the customer is always right” is bad for your business.
It’s safe to say that most people that are willing to play the “but the customer is always right” card is not your ideal free agent. In fact, by you doing business with that in mind, you’re setting yourself up for a long road of stress and unhappiness. The only way to eliminate those kind of clients is to eliminate that kind of thinking.
It’s time to get your game face on.
Have you ever took advantage of the “customer is always right” rule? What was the outcome? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
As always thanks for reading and sharing but most importantly, thanks for participating.