Is Customer Satisfaction The Goal, No Questions Asked? Rethinking The “Customer Is Always Right” Policy

Is the customer always right? This is running policy in most businesses, and in many situations, it protects customers from unfair or unsatisfactory service. Customers may be the lifeblood of business, but sticking to this unwritten rule can open a can of worms that affects employee morale. As an entrepreneur, you carefully consider which side you’ll take in disputes, between employees and irate customers; customer satisfaction is a primary goal of business, but it’s far from absolute.
If you’re still on the fence whether you should side with employees in an unfair dispute, here are three good reasons that should help you decide in your people’s favor:

1. Siding with customers (when they’re wrong) puts a dent on your employees’ morale.

You’re actually doing your people a disservice; even if the intent is to appease a disgruntled customer, it shows your distrust in your employees. It’s about weighing the tradeoff of giving customers what they want, against the possibility your people will lose confidence in you after your lapse of judgment. Diplomacy is crucial in conflict resolution, and you can build the concerned employee as you side with the customer in a complaint. Keep in mind that lip service to the customers’ dilemma only benefits your business for the short term.

2. Abrasive customers shouldn’t always have the upper hand.

They say that when you give someone an inch, the same person will demand a mile. Perception is a fickle thing, and the last thing you want to be perceived as is a patsy. You’re probably thinking of companies who buckled under the pressure of (negative) customer feedback, pulling products, doing recalls, offering refunds and rebates to compensate. The point is you need to establish your boundaries and protect it. Your front-line employees bear the brunt of the abuse, and the least you can do is call a bad customer out, on the spot.

3. Side with enough bad customers, and soon your employees will dish out sub-par service.

This could be out of disappointment or disapproval, expressed in ways short of a mutiny. Employees need to know their service and judgment is valued in the company; that’s why yo hired them in the first place. Sure, there are times when an employee is clearly on the wrong side of the dispute, but what about the gray situations and you need to investigate further? Bosses fail when they pick the customer’s side in effort to save face; it’s likely disputes and complaints will only increase, as discontentment spreads among the ranks.
The secret to good customer service is good employee morale; invest in your employees and they will pay it forward with excellent service. Consider your customers and employees as equal partners to your company’s success; ensure both are satisfied and the effort will pay off as you move along.

Elsewhere on this blog:

The Perks of Staff Leasing QA

Do You Want to Grow Your Clientele? Work on Your Retention Rate

Your Post-Sale Strategy: Gaining Leads From Your Customers

5 Ways Customer Feedback Can Help Grow Your Business

Customer satisfaction is one of the most important parts of any business, but when customer feedback piles more negative responses, the business can be at risk of running down.

Businesses these days are taking different courses in handling their customer service; some build their own in-house team of customer care agents while others seek the help of outsourcing firms. Whatever the route a business takes, customer service will not improve if the owner themselves fail to understand their customers.

Here are five (5) simple ways customer feedback can help grow your business, especially for start-up businesses and newbie entrepreneurs.

1. Finding Your Strengths and Improving Your Weaknesses

Satisfied customers will leave positive feedbacks, with this you can learn about your products’ strengths and how you can make it even better. But when customers become unhappy because of your product or your sales personnel, negative customer feedbacks will continue to pile up until you resolve the issue. You can easily pinpoint the cause of decline in customer satisfaction by simply paying more attention to their feedbacks.

2. Happy Customers Creates Sales Opportunities

Customer surveys are not just for finding weak spots on your products or business, it can also be a great material to study and research for other sales opportunities. Whether it’s a positive or negative customer feedback, your sales team can always use fresh ideas or new approaches to grow your business.

3. Win Back Lost Clients and Keep Existing Ones

A customer survey doesn’t need to be too broad or too personal, just keep it simple and easy to understand and answer so you can get more customers to take it. The result of your survey provides you with ideas on how to keep your existing customers, and plan on how to win back lost clients, so have it regularly administered.

4. Getting Social Helps to Improve Overall Reputation

Asking your satisfied customers to leave public reviews on social media sites is a great way to improve your reputation, as well as asking them for testimonials that you can brag on your website or on social networking profiles of your company. The more positive customer feedback you get, the better will be your overall reputation, thus increase sales.

Tip: Have a dedicated staff monitor and manage your social networking profiles, this way you are always updated on what your customers like and dislike about your brand. Some entrepreneurs prefer outsourcing this job to save on overhead costs.

5. Create Brand Advocates Among Your Customers

Customer satisfaction often ignites comments online, the more you make your customers happy the more likely they will post positive comments and share their experience online promoting your brand for you for free! So the next time you pass on a customer feedback, whether it’s a good one or not, think about the growth of your company. If it’s important to grow your business, you will pay more attention to your customers’ feedbacks.

Tip: Social media sites are not just for connecting with customers; sites like Facebook offers paid advertising where you can use your online marketing materials to attract more customers. Some entrepreneurs seek the help of outsourcing firms that specializes in online marketing to strategize and initiate online marketing campaigns for them.