The customer is always wrong


The traditional mantra for successful businesses ‘the customer is always right’ is under threat, according to a new report.

The survey, by alldayPA, questioned 1,000 members of the public and found that most (76%) had been frustrated with businesses refusing to apologise when things had gone wrong with a product or service.

Just under half (47%) had an even worse experience being told that problems were their fault when they tried to make what they consider to be legitimate complaints.

Holiday companies were found to be worst at dealing with customer complaints, with 31% of respondents saying they had experienced operators refusing to apologise, accept responsibility or help with problems.

These were closely followed by utility providers (such as power, telecoms and water companies) – with 26% of respondents reporting problems – banks (21%) and delivery companies (20%).

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  1. I think the customer should always feel that he is right, or in a complex situation an explanation is due but in general, an immediate “You’re right, how can we fix this” should be the default position. Unless the customer is a “toxic” customer (first named by Fast Co magazine a good few years ago I believe), i.e. one that takes up 20% of your time complaining for 1% of your profit margin, for these its better to extricate yourself from the situation.

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