The Customer is Always Right?

 

I have been working in customer service for about 20 years give or take. One thing I always heard, in the beginning, was, “The customer is always right.” So much it seemed angry customers would chant this as they made their demands over issues.  This saying began to give them a sense of entitlement as they felt they could have whatever request they made because, well, the customer was always right.

Angry Phone Conversation

To this I say, no, the customer is not always right. However, the customer should always be respected. Through the years, I have seen the frustration customers can bring upon service providers. Especially those who feel entitled by

Angry Customer Service Representative Gesturing While Using Headtoday’s society. I have known many in the industry become jaded and who make matters worse by being rude, long hold times, or even hanging up on customers. All this does is exasperate the issue, causing the entitled customer to become more outraged and adds more fuel to their fire.

 

Any business you have relies on some type of customer to stay in business. How we treat those customers determines the quality of our business. It can make or break a relationship. We will always get those who have a reason to be angry, and those who feel they are entitled to something or other. Both customers deserve
to be respected and treated the way we would want if it were us.

 

For starters, whether we agree with their complaint or not, they need to know we hear them. Assure them their feelings or opinions are not falling on deaf ears. Then, we need to let it known we are truly sorry they are having such experiences or issues. If their demands are outlandish, don’t totally blow them off. Instead, let them know why their request cannot be carried out, and offer alternatives both parties can agree on. By fully explaining things to the customer, they are generally more willing to work with you instead of against you. Thus creating a more pleasurable experience for both parties.

Sure there are the unreasonable people who you cannot satisfy, but they still deserve to be respected in your tone and demeanor. That way, even if they are the ones being unreasonable, you can hold your head high that you did all you could on your part.

Happy entrepreneur working with thumbs up

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What is Integrity?

 

Integrity Principles Trust Ethics Conduct Honesty 3d Illustratio

Talking to a customer yesterday, he mentioned that you can’t trust people these days. On a similar note, a friend posted on social media that she had a situation with a gentleman who also did not trust others. This got me thinking about not only honesty, but also integrity. It seems more and more people are under the impression that everyone is out to harm them in one way or another. We have become so sure that a deal will go wrong, we will be taken advantage of, or basically hurt, that we go into any situation on the defense.

This is understandable since many are out there with only themselves and their gain in mind. They deliver empty promises and in some cases right out lie. It makes me wonder, what does integrity mean today and does it still exist? I have worked for big companies that speak of integrity, but when it came down to it, they would put themselves first over employees and even customers as if these were mere pawns to their actual goal of greed.

Miriam-Webster defines integrity as a “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values:  incorruptibility.” I have also heard it is doing what is right even when no one is looking.  This seems straight forward, but has this become an outdated concept? Have we become a society where it is “eat or be eaten” so to speak? Is our greed and lack of empathy so strong that we feel we don’t have to keep our word?

I and a few others I know don’t feel this is the case. We believe that the only way to do business or to live life for that matter is with integrity. It’s a part of taking pride in one’s self and your work. It’s also the first block in building relationships with others. Yet it becomes more and more frustrating trying to convince others that this is the case, especially when they are out to prove you are lying from the get go. I personally don’t plan to give up, but I do wonder how we can change the mindset of today’s society in relation to honesty, empathy and integrity.

So, my question to you is what does integrity mean? Do you think it’s still common today? Are there still people out there that live by it? How do we make it a key factor again in life and business?