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Old 07-10-2012, 02:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is the customer always right?

I was reading through one of the threads and saw the comment "The customer is always right.", and it made me think. I have been in the retail business for well over 18 years now, and I have not heard that justification for anything for well over 10 years now. Is this mentality of retail diminished? I would say, yes! What do you think? and why?
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I was reading through one of the threads and saw the comment "The customer is always right.", and it made me think. I have been in the retail business for well over 18 years now, and I have not heard that justification for anything for well over 10 years now. Is this mentality of retail diminished? I would say, yes! What do you think? and why?
I think it depends on how far one is willing to put the effort into "Customer is always right". When it comes to the service industry its much easier than others. There is also a threshold of mutual respect as well. Some people have a lower threshold while others are more desperate to sustain business.

When I worked in retail, our motto behind "Customer is always right " was more along the lines of .."Take his bull crap and make the sale, but dont let him step all over you". Basically if you have to hear a mouthful, its worth the sale. But if he crosses the line, do what you have to do!!.

Setting that bar / threshold on how much you are willing to swallow is what factors whether the customer is always right.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Coming from a background in Retail Management (Shoes/Clothing) for 12 years, I would have to say the customer is NOT always right. With that said, there are many customers that have a legitimate claim...BUT to those customers that like to show their a$$ and think we have to service them...that is not always the case.

I have went as far as throwing customers out of my store for trying to return "worn" items as well as purchase items that have been tagged switched. (caught on camera)...I am not the typical roll over and step on me manager that several retail chains have employed. I question not only the integrity of the customers, but the integrity of those in a higher position than myself within the company.

So, I know there are many good customers that can complain about problems that I do try to resolve as best I can. For those that believe the customer is always right, please check yourself first.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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At the McDonalds I work at, we allow the customer to be right most of the time, on our terms, not on their terms. We are totally under the impression that we can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. So they may be very well be right in their own eyes, but they are not getting two tens and two fives back for a $20.00 bill.

One of the things they train us on is how to catch theifs. We've gotten people handing to us coupons that were over 5 years old. They rip the expiration date off the coupon and tell us we have to honor it. Or they fold the coupon in the wrong way. I have memorized all the coupons in the past 5 years. They all are color coded and I know which coupons are the current colors.

Also, we get random people who come in and tell us that we screwed up on their order and we owe them an angus burger. If they don't have a receipt or a sandwich next to them, we will not refund them or give them another sandwich. However, if we goof up and make a sandwich wrong, we'll bend over backwards to make it right for the customer.

It works both ways. If you are honest and trustworthy, and not out to cheat us, yeah, the customer is always right.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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At Ebay,the customer is always right....that is all that matters in this hobby of late
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hell to the no. Too many people trying to take advantage of the system these days. A dishonest customer, is NEVER a right costumer.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When I managed a food place, as long as they could produce a receipt or could someway show that they got the food from me and they felt it was wrong.

Even if I took their order and repeated it to them twice, I'd 'fix' it for them. Easier that way.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The customer is not always right. In most cases if they are at the point of complaining about something they probably have a case, but there are always completely loony people making unreasonable demands.

I remember working at McDonalds many years ago, most times if there was a problem the customer would tell us and we'd take care of it, and if it took too long we'd fix the problem and refund their money, but every so often you'd get a screamer who would yell, curse and demand a refund because the fries weren't hot enough or someone forgot to put the dipping sauce for the McNuggets in the bad and we had to take it.

I remember my last day quite well, I was a Swing Manager and the regular managers were in a meeting so I was left in charge. Things were fine until we got one of "those" customers, he ordered a quarter pounder without mustard, and it had mustard on it (typical mistake, back then it was assembly line like, every burger was the same except for special orders so it's like a reflex to go ketchup, mustard onions then pickle). Not a huge mistake and easily fixed, but the guy started going ballistic, screaming in my face calling us morons for getting his order wrong and I stood there taking it trying to tell him we'll fix it but his tirade just kept going until he jabbed a finger in my chest, that was it! I snapped, I got in his face saying I don't have to take that crap for a shitty job that I don't really need and if he said one more word laid a finger on me again I'd haul him outside and settle things (I'm not violent by nature, that's the closest I've come to being in a fight since around grade 5).
The guy left and I went to where the managers were having the meeting and told them one of them needed to come to the floor and take over, I was done.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sadly, yes.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think this site fits well here:

Funny & Stupid Customer Stories – Not Always Right

But yes, if you want to keep your job and keep people coming back, then the customer is pretty much always right. Even if they're dead wrong.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hell to the no. Too many people trying to take advantage of the system these days. A dishonest customer, is NEVER a right costumer.
Exactly. Too many people use the "customer is always right" statement to their advantage and expect companies to always go out of their way to satisfy their complaints.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jlcherry2477 View Post
Coming from a background in Retail Management (Shoes/Clothing) for 12 years, I would have to say the customer is NOT always right. With that said, there are many customers that have a legitimate claim...BUT to those customers that like to show their a$$ and think we have to service them...that is not always the case.

I have went as far as throwing customers out of my store for trying to return "worn" items as well as purchase items that have been tagged switched. (caught on camera)...I am not the typical roll over and step on me manager that several retail chains have employed. I question not only the integrity of the customers, but the integrity of those in a higher position than myself within the company.

So, I know there are many good customers that can complain about problems that I do try to resolve as best I can. For those that believe the customer is always right, please check yourself first.
What company if you don't mind me asking? If you dont' want to post it here, feel free to pm it to me.

I've been a retail manager for 15 years now. I have found that you have to have an ability to size up your customers. If I believe that they are being honest, and are calm and polite, I will help them. If they are yelling and screaming, or I think they are a scam artist, I'll tell them to go pound sand, and I'll often throw them out.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sometimes the customer is wrong as hell. Just a couple of days ago this guy went to argue with the cashier who was taking care of me at Costco. He told her that she gave him the incorrect change and that he was missing twenty bucks. She said she gave him the correct change, and just as he was going to argue that he didn't, he looked into his shopping cart only to see that he had dropped a $20 bill into his cart that could easily be seen. I wanted to laugh in his face, but figured he was embarrassed enough.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You can't just ask customers what they want...by the time you get it built they'll want something new

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Old 07-10-2012, 06:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Sometimes the customer is wrong as hell. Just a couple of days ago this guy went to argue with the cashier who was taking care of me at Costco. He told her that she gave him the incorrect change and that he was missing twenty bucks. She said she gave him the correct change, and just as he was going to argue that he didn't, he looked into his shopping cart only to see that he had dropped a $20 bill into his cart that could easily be seen. I wanted to laugh in his face, but figured he was embarrassed enough.
It is a scam people do, but obviously this person wasn't a very good scammer. We have people order a $5.00 order, pay with a $20.00 bill, I count them back the change. "Ten, Fifteen". Then they throw the $10.00 bill on the ground of their car, wave to me and get really angry and tell me that I shorted them $10.00.

I don't waste time, I go to the manager, ask them to do a drawer count, and by the time we are pulling out the drawer, the person is gone.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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NO WAY!!! I worked in retail for several years and there is a lot of people who tend to think they are owed something,I was rarely even thanked for my services from the customers.
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