Is the customer always right?

I was talking to an associate the other day and realized I have been in a customer service related industry for over 30 years.  Yes, I know my boyish looks tend to make you drop your jaw in disbelief, but it is true.  Another thing this associate and I were talking about was the fact that it is pretty easy to tell the people who have worked in this industry from the people who have.  There is just a difference.

I have been involved in many businesses over the course of my life, and no, the Bronto Burger was not one of them.  I’m not that old!

I have learned a lot from these ventures and have been able to bring added experience to each new one.

There is one big thing that I discovered early on and have spread the word of this discovery to as many people in the business as I possibly could.

Here it is:  The number one rule in customer service is that the customer is always right.  It’s true isn’t it? Hogwash!

Do you know who coined that phrase?

Yes, someone who has never worked in the customer service industry!

The real number one rule is that the customer is not always right, however it is our job to educate the customer and help them become right.

Why do I say this? 

If a customer went into Burger King and ordered a Big Mac would they be right?

If a customer bought a truck with a 5.7L Hemi engine in it and went to the gas station and filled it with diesel fuel, would they be right?

You got it.  They wouldn’t be.  Our job is to help them become right, in as friendly a manner as possible.

The Burger King customer could have the fact explained to them that they don’t have Big Macs here but we can make a burger that would be better than a Big Mac.

The Hemi driver could be told that diesel fuel isn’t any good for his engine, but perhaps he should try the high test for better performance.

Always remember that even though the customer is not always right, they are still a customer and they have come into your place of business and your job is to keep them there and keep them happy and turn them into a long-time customer.