Loyalty Leader Quick Tips

Is ‘The Customer Is Always Right’ a Thing of the Past?

January 16, 2018

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After I finished presenting a keynote on building customer loyalty, a gentleman in the audience approached me and asked, “Isn’t ‘the customer is always right’ a thing of the past?”

“Yes,” I replied. “But not for the companies who are experiencing the greatest success!”

We all know that every customer is not always right. In fact, some customers can be downright challenging. But these customers are the exception, not the rule. When service is based on what the customer needs and wants, customers will be happier and the company is more likely to succeed.

It is true that many companies have forgotten to put their customers first. It’s evident in every industry. But many of these same companies are beginning to see the error of their ways. My customer loyalty training business is booming because more and more CEOs are recognizing that sales are driven by great customer service.

Why then, do so many employees continue to view customers as an interruption of their work, rather than an opportunity to build relationships with the very people who keep them in a job? The reason is simple; too many companies reward productivity over quality service. Employees are pressured to handle high volumes of calls or meet sales quotas, rather than taking the time to let their customers know they are valued.

Keep in mind that a company’s service delivery is only as good as its weakest employee.  That’s why a commitment to training and accountability is essential. Your customers are the very reason you are in business. Without them, there are no sales. No sales–no jobs!

Customer satisfaction surveys are often misleading because they do not necessarily measure the quality and value of the service a company delivers to their customers. Instead, they measure the current attitude of the customer at the time he or she completed the survey. That attitude can change quickly depending upon the most recent interaction a customer has had with the company. In order for any company to succeed, the customer must come first. Your customers are the very reason you’re in business. Without them, there are no sales. No sales–no jobs.

It is true that many companies have forgotten to put their customers first. It’s evident in every industry. But many of these same companies are beginning to see the error of their ways. My customer loyalty training business is booming because more and more CEOs are recognizing that sales are driven by great customer service.

Why then, do so many employees continue to view customers as an interruption of their work, rather than an opportunity to build relationships with the very people who keep them in a job? The reason is simple; too many companies reward productivity over quality service. Employees are pressured to handle high volumes of calls or meet sales quotas, rather than taking the time to let their customers know they are valued.

Keep in mind that a company’s service delivery is only as good as its weakest employee.  That’s why a commitment to training and accountability is essential.

“The customer is always right” is not a thing of the past; it is a key element of every successful business.

Take a look at companies that support “the customer is always right” philosophy and you will see winners. I encourage you to visit the websites of the following companies to read their customer service policies. These companies are proud to state their service philosophies right on their websites and other materials. They understand that when their service standards are in writing, it helps them to be more accountable in delivering service excellence to their customers.

Companies that are committed to putting their customers first proudly display their service promises on their websites.

  • Lands’ End
    Guaranteed. Period. We want nothing less than your absolute satisfaction. 
    Lands’ End operates on the principle that what is best for the customer is also best for the company. As a result, customers have learned to expect a high level of service at all times–from initiating the order to receiving help and advice, to speedy shipping, and further follow-up when necessary.
  • Rite-Aid We create unmatched levels of loyalty through our associates by being passionately committed to our customers and all we serve.
  • The Ritz-Carlton: Check out their Gold Standards! The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission. The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.
  • Southwest Airlines: We like to think of ourselves as a Customer Service company that happens to fly airplanes (on schedule, with personality and perks along the way).

Zappos.com exemplifies its commitment to service excellence through the Zappos Family Core Values

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

 

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