There is a common rule of customer service in small shops and large corporations: the customer is always right. But, as you know, most customers are wrong. Sure, there are the vocal few who will say something like, “The wrong color of the car was delivered to me today! I want it to be returned now!” But most of us are just mildly annoyed when a product is the wrong color or wrong size.
What could probably go wrong?
Let’s face it: there are a lot of products out there, and sometimes they are defective or mislabeled. We all have experience with poor customer service, and while it can be frustrating, it’s something we all put up with because we don’t want to ruin a good customer experience. We also know that a bad experience doesn’t stay with you forever. You learn from it and move on. However, sometimes a bad service experience is so overwhelming that it can have a lasting impact on you or your life as a whole.
For a customer service representative or business owner, it isn’t nice to lose customers. That is why as much as possible, we still want to understand the customer and resolve the issue as soon as possible. But, what if the customer is really at fault or wrong here? What should a customer service representative or business owner do?
Doing What’s Right: Things To Do If The Customer Is Wrong
We’re all guilty of it at some point or another. You’re working on something, and it’s going well when suddenly you get a phone call, an email, or an inquiry that will change the course of your work. What do you do? The fear of getting it wrong is what keeps people from taking the plunge, and the longer you wait, the more your business will suffer.
In difficult situations like this, it calls for open-mindedness and solution. If the customer is wrong, here are the following things to do:
1. Don’t make them wrong. Human beings are bad at dealing with uncertainty. We all make mistakes, but nobody wants to be wrong. We want answers, not criticism, and we want them now. And when our customers ask for more information, we’re happy to help. We make mistakes too, and the last thing we want to do is say something wrong because our customers will get upset.
2. Ask the customer some questions. When it comes to solving customer problems, it’s the same: you can’t know what the customer wants until you ask them. Ask them how they come up with that conclusion and know what outcome are they expecting. That’s why we make sure that as many assumptions about our customers as possible are backed up by facts and data. This means gathering comprehensive evidence, which means we need to talk to our customers.
3. Cite examples that are the same or similar to the customer’s situation. When a customer is wrong, you want to be calm and respectful of their feelings. Don’t tell them how you feel, instead give them an example of a similar situation and explain how you handled it.
4. Give them some recommendations. If you’re a business owner, you may have had the pleasure of working with a customer who is wrong. You probably have had many of them, and the good news is that most customers are not wrong all the time. The trick is to discover what their real needs are and focus your efforts on meeting those needs.
5. Give them extra value. When dealing with a customer who is in the wrong, it may be tempting to blame them rather than trying to understand where they are coming from. However, even the most obstinate, unreasonable customer can be persuaded to come around to your way of thinking. But sometimes, a customer is not wrong at all, but just has a different perspective. In these cases, you can provide an extra value, such as giving the customer a longer period of time to make a decision or simply giving them a chance to explain themselves.
The customer is always right. Right. (Okay, okay, you got me. The customer is not always right. But when he or she is, you still have to make changes and prevent future issues.) The customer is entitled to your opinions, but you do not have to bend over backward to please them. In fact, you should be a bit more proactive than that. For example, if the customer is wrong on a feature, you should be able to give them a clear, honest answer without getting into an argument.