Now surely you are the person that DOESN’T always tell people they are wrong right? Well, most of us do in some way or another everyday in every interaction. And guess what, even if it’s true people DON’T LIKE IT!
So what does this mean for your business relationships? Is the Customer “Always Right”?
Well, yes. Sorry to break it to you but the customer is always right. Now with that being said, “right” is subjective. Are they technically always correct? Nope, probably more often than not! But we don’t tell them that, and we don’t lead onto that. Why? Because we aren’t their momma and we aren’t here to teach them life lessons. We are here to provide a service and that’s that. So keep it simple, and stop telling them they are wrong.
Now what does that look like? Let’s say your customer sends you a message online and says “I love this product but it just doesn’t work for me and I don’t like it. I want my money back.” Initially you may think, well there is nothing wrong with the product so I won’t be taking it back. Plus it’s your fault if you like it or not, not mine. The PROBLEM is is THAT is exactly what you end up saying to your customer but you say it in a “nice” way. Customer still gets pissed off and you think “well, there was nothing I could do, I was nice about it, just can’t make her happy.” You believe this and everyone typically agrees with you in that you “did all you could do, some customers are just not worth it.” Therein lies the problem. She’s wrong, she’s the problem, and you believe everyone else who is validating you. They validate you because they do the same thing and want their own validation in that what they are doing is right. So if you are doing what they do, all is peachy-keen! If you do it your own way then all the sudden you are “letting the customer take advantage of you, stand your ground!” and all hell breaks loose. Believe me, I see it and live it every day.
Regardless your tone, you told the customer she was wrong and she didn’t like it. No one likes being told they are wrong. We have egos and selfish tendencies, we are humans. Does that make us a bit childish? Yep! But it is how we are anyways and we have to act according to how we ARE rather than what we wish we would be. Especially in customer service.
So what do you do instead? My advice is always to approach the subject with “Yes” in mind. Whatever their concern or issue, you are going to fix it how they want it. They ARE right, they don’t like their product and they probably aren’t lying about that. Their experience is always right, regardless of what you think. If they don’t like the smell of the perfume that doesn’t mean they are wrong, they just don’t like the smell. If the plastic tube they bought is poor quality to their standards then it’s poor quality to them regardless of the actual quality of products on the market. No one is ever wrong about their experience. Think of it that way.
I know this scares the hell out of people, they immediately believe that if they validate their customers feelings and do what the customer wants then they will probably lose their homes, their kids will go hungry, and all their hopes and dreams will be burnt to the ground because someone took advantage of them so much and so often. Then these “bad” customers will tell all their friends to come to you and take advantage of you because you will HAVE to do the same thing as you did before or else…..something even worse will happen.
Does that sound ridiculous? Well it should because it is. Are there customers out there to take advantage of people? Absolutely there are. Are they all over the world and trolling for people like you? Probably. Is it likely your target market is going to be those people time and time again? Nope. But the fear of it happening, or when it does happen, is so strong that people flip out and change their entire business and life plan to avoid it happening again.
But when you really think of the impact, it makes sense to say “yes”. By finding a resolution for your customer, you are creating trust. Usually there is a lack of trust in the beginning and the customer may even resolve to trying to bully you because they don’t think you will help them without fearing them. So sometimes they come in demanding things, being hot headed, stern tone of voice, etc… They are trying to intimidate you because they don’t think there is any other way to get a resolution.
This is sad to me. We are so inclined to think that being nice and kind is not going to get us anywhere. When in reality, it gets us most places quite often but the one time it doesn’t we change everything around that time. That’s not how this needs to work.
By building trust you are creating a relationship. Relationships = loyalty. They will come back and be willing to spend their money on your product, you won’t even have to talk them into it! Your price higher than the competitor? No biggie, they trust you and would happily spend a few extra dollars because that is an investment in your relationship you built with them. Will they go another place for the same item? Of course not. Will they tell other people that you are the only person they will go to for this product? Every time.
So what do you do with that customer? I recommend saying “Thank you for messaging me and I am so sorry that you do not like your product. What about it is not working for you? I’d love to get your feedback on this. Don’t worry, we will definitely come to a good resolution for you. I want you to be happy and I’m so glad you ordered with my shop.”
A simple response like that immediately softens the heart. this also gives the customer the “ok” to say what they really think and feel. Sometimes you can “fix” the issue, and sometimes you can’t. So if you can’t, they return the product and get their money back. However you just created a relationship with someone who knows that if there is a problem, you will be there to solve it and be kind and nice to them. Guess who doesn’t have to be a jerk anymore? The customer! And it’s really nice to know that you don’t have to be mean to get your way, most people don’t want to have to do that anyways.