A post on LinkedIn recently caught our attention, as it did many others’, as the writer stated he feels the phrase “the customer is always right" is one of the most “toxic” phrases in business and shouldn’t be used anymore. Many others chimed in with differing views, leading to a lively debate. So, what do you think? In customer service, is the customer always right? Or is this one of those customer experience (CX) tips that’s horribly outdated? Here’s our take.
It’s Not Who’s Right; It’s What’s Right
English scientist Thomas Huxley is credited with this phrase, and it’s one of our favorites. Think about it this way: the very question, “is the customer always right?” pits the customer against the business, making the assumption that one must be right and one must be wrong. It reveals that we need to back up and adopt a different mindset from the get-go. Instead of asking if the customer is right, think about the situation as a whole. The issue is about alignment, more than it is about rightness. Did you invest the time upfront to find out what your customer actually wants before developing your product? Have you created a strategy around onboarding so that your new customers better understand the services you’re offering them and what to expect? Such foundational work is imperative to improving alignment and reducing the “them against us” mentality implied in this debate.
Strategy Is The Winner
If there is someone or something who is “right” in this argument, it’s your strategy. Without it, no one wins. But with it, you and your client can be truly aligned around your North Star. Disclaimer: there’s some work to be done before you jump into strategy, though. We always dive deep into clients’ goals and ideal customers before setting the strategic direction or even uttering the word “tactics” because it’s the best way to be on the same page - and be effective. You need to know what your ideal customer looks like in order to start finding out what they want or how to reach them. This is why buyer personas are so important in your marketing and sales. A partner like StringCan can help you define those personas, and then work with you to develop a strategy to find customers that fit them. Then, we use data, research and a marketing roadmap to connect with, convert and retain them. But it all starts with investing in knowing who those ideal customers are. Showing that you know them builds trust and reduces the likelihood of missing the mark or ending up in contentious conversations with them down the road. Really want to wow your customers and see your business thrive? Go a step further and treat your customers like family. All of this will help you get in alignment, and leave you with a question more along the lines of this one: “Where are we taking our customers for happy hour this month?” instead of the one posed at the start of this post. Want help making this your reality? Give us a call!