Customer Is Always Right

Published: 2021-07-01 08:28:17
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Category: Reputation, Retail, Customer

Type of paper: Essay

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In today’s competitive world, a business must always have the policy that the consumer is right because it does not only retain a company’s image and reputation, it also leads to higher profitability in the long term and helps the company to operate more efficiently in the future. Businesses must be aware that their consumers are the essence of their company. Without consumers, the business would cease to exist. The phrase, ‘The customer is always right’ can be explained as the trading policy that states a company's keenness to be seen to put customers first (Martin, 1996). It was originally coined by
Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1909 and often used by businesses to convince customers that they will receive good service or convince employees to deliver good service. Many businesses argue that there are customers who are just plain wrong and unreasonable while others are mostly just seeking advantage. However, in this current economic climate, companies cannot afford to neglect their customers’ wants and needs if they are planning to stay in business for the long term. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that the said policy encourages a company’s growth despite lowering employees morale and giving abrasive consumers an advantage.
Businesses which implement the policy will retain and strengthen their image and reputation, making them a step quicker at reaching their objectives and goals. James Kocsi (2006) says, “To be competitive, you need to analyze what makes your company different from others in your industry. Pricing and quality are always the key factors, but do not overlook the value of customer service. ” Clearly, this shows that customer service means delivering satisfaction to all your clients even if they are wrong or irrational.



In short, your consumers are always right and this meant making an adjustment to satisfy them even when your company is not at fault. It helps minimize negative image of public relation being passed around when customers are unsatisfied with your product or services, avoid desertion by them and most ultimately, save your company from the complications of possible legal suits (Witzel, 2005). It is undeniable that higher profits are obtained in the long term by these businesses as well. Customers who have their complaints and suggestions attended efficiently are most likely to be your returning customers.
The policy indirectly creates brand loyalty among them and they become your product ambassadors. In Josh Hall's (2009) view, engaging with unsatisfied customers and exceeding their expectations can frequently result in a positive business outcome from a potentially damaging situation. This can be done by sending a letter of apology or similar gestures to help solidify a positive impression in the customer’s eyes. Rombel (2004) points out that bad customer service can cost you a long-time client. He added that the customer scorned is likely to tell everyone he knows about what happened to him.
When a client becomes dissatisfied, you risk losing that business plus potential business if negative comments about your company are passed along. Witzel (2005) states that disgruntled consumers tend to defect to rival businesses. He suggests accepting responsibility than to argue with customers where responsibility lies. This is due to the fact that there is little profit earned and more damage being done regardless of whom is at fault. Besides that, business will operate more effectively in the future upon having the policy that the customer is always right.
Rather than taking negative feedbacks as criticism, they should have the mindset that their customers are always right and use it for improvement to provide better products or services. Daud (2009) stated that pleasing customers is fundamental and it should be at the forefront of our minds when we work and gaining new ones as the ultimate incentive for improving service. He further explains that shoppers read reviews prior to making purchase decisions. Positive reviews are beneficial as a form of effective form of advertising while negative ones can be used as constructive criticism to fix weak areas.
According to Morisson (2008),complaints usually come from loyal customers, rather than disloyal ones. He added that loyal customers tell you what is wrong in the hope that it will improve the situation, so that they do not have to defect to your competitors, and it gives your business a valuable opportunity to identify and fix problems, make amends and retain a possibly lost business. Granted, the policy that the customer is right is vital to a business’s wellbeing but however, in reality, some customers are just more troubles than they are worth.
There are times where a customer is not always right, especially if your company begins to suffer from having a bad seed on your client list (Brodsky & Mitchell, 2007). According to Brodsky and Mitchell, living by the policy may cause businesses to overlook or excuse a customer's bad behavior due to the need to satisfy any client that pays. These customers are usually your regular clients, but despite attempts to rectify their dissatisfaction, they constantly complaint that you are not up to their expectations.
This clearly gives abrasive customers an unfair advantage, and as a result, the company will need to compensate them in terms of monetary, refunds, exchanges and discounts which will all lead to a lower profitability. Besides that, repetition of similar incidents will happen if it is not dealt with in a proper way. For example, Brown (2009) argues that bad customers are a waste of time and resources because the costs of serving them will outweigh the benefits you will receive from them. Furthermore, businesses need to decide if they are to side with a emanding and unreasonable customer or their loyal employee. The act of trying to please your customers, even if they are at wrong, will create unhappy employees and this will eventually lead to lower morale and less motivation to work. Forcing employees to deal with obnoxious, unrealistic and abusive customers reduces morale (Brown, 2009). It gives employees a mentality that they are not valued by the company and they should not have any respect for the customers. She adds that, “The time that you spend trying to satisfy the impossible customer decreases the benefits you can provide to the good ones.
Your most demanding customers are not your profitable ones. Rewarding them reduces your resources without a return on investment. ” ING Direct, a finance institution, reported that there was a 45% of increase in profits between 2002 and 2003 when they started getting rid of overly demanding customers (Esfahani, 2004). Although the policy might cause a business to spend more time and resources in dealing with demanding customers, it has been proven that it garners higher customer loyalty and greatly expands consumer base.
A survey conducted by Retail Council of Canada proved that store loyalty increases dramatically when customers enjoy a great shopping experience. This is because of the high likelihood of returning customers and those who spread their great shopping experiences to others will help boost business sales (Retail Council of Canada, 2009). Kent (2004) points out that good customer service should be emphasised above all else, even when it comes to customers who may simply waste time with never-ending, pointless calls.
He quoted that employees are employed to satisfy every customer and therefore, customer satisfaction comes first above all else. They should therefore be equipped with training programs to provide better services and deal with demanding customers effectively. In conclusion, the policy that the customer is right is a fundamental rule to all businesses because it retains a company’s image and reputation, leads to higher profitability in the long term and helps the company to operate more efficiently in the future.

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