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Is the customer always right?


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When it comes to running a business or site, or anything for that matter, do you consider the customer to always be right? Personally I say this when it comes to most stores and shops, but even so, the customer is not always right. If it's something small and simple, I'm sure we could let it go the way of the customer. But if the customer is rude, obnoxious, offensive, and doesn't help you help them, than in that case, the customer is not right. 

What's your feeling on this? When a dispute comes up, do you side with the customer? Or do you wait to get the full story before going forward? 

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This is 100% situational. 

Really how we are going to treat a customer boils down to a few things. Was the problem our fault? Do you have past purchase history with us? How are you treating our team? 

At our ecommerce enterprise we just use a simple three strike system. 

So you contact our CS team and you need an appeasement we will give it to you and strike the account internally. We do this because we noticed online shop lifting is a real thing and people will do anything to get out of paying for something. 

Our team will be more willing to make something right if you have had plenty of orders with no problems. 

If you are a customer that is contacting us about issues on every single one of your orders you eventually will get nothing from us and we likely end up banning the customer from being able to shop with us. Customers sometimes need to remember as a business we get to pick and choose who we service.  

You will always attract more bees with honey. Its interesting looking at it from the point of view of the company. Our CSRs only have so much they can do for a customer before they need approvals and sometimes approval is not there. So you have a customer service representative operating within set operating procedures and customer looking for appeasements that when it's not our fall will fall outside of the SOP. 

It just depends. If I had a company that sold services instead of products I would likely interview all the customers before onboarding them to make sure both sides had a clear expectation of work to be accomplished. Get signatures on a SOW (statement of work) and then proceed with what has been agreed on. 

We always try to give the customer the benefit of the doubt at first but we use data to track what they are doing to see if they are trying to take advantage or not. At the end of the day in order to build a sustainable company the company needs to make money so can not have some problem customers wiping out all the profit. 

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I think this is something that gets blurred a lot with big corporations. I have seen people get in trouble for a customer yelling at an employee and them not handling the situation with giving the customer what they wanted, even if they were wrong. Smaller businesses tend to handle these things better in my experience. The customer could be right, or could be wrong, but I think it is important for the person in charge of the company not to look down on an employee just to make a customer feel better. 

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