Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Glad People Are Now Saying Customers Are Not Always Right

A tiny minority of shoppers are bullies. They yell
and cause ugly scenes. Let's stop tolerating them. 
A friend of mine posted on Facebook today a June Huffington Post essay by Matt Walsh on a middle aged woman who absolutely LOST it when she ordered a burger without ketchup, but when she bit into it, she found it had ketchup.

A reasonable person would have come back to the counter, and calmly say "I don't like ketchup, I ordered a burger without ketchup and this one has ketchup. What can you do for me?

I would bet my next paycheck the person behind the counter would take the burger, replace it with one without ketchup and hand it to the customer, and the issue would end right there.

However, there are precious few reasonable people around these days.

We must all cause a scene, apparently.  Because an improperly prepared burger is a High Crime Against Humanity and must be met with hysterics.

In this case, the teenager behind the counter did, in fact, offer to give the irate customer a new burger, sans ketchup.  Not good enough.

"What's wrong with you people?! I just sat in the drive thru for ten minutes and now I have to come in here because you guys can't understand fucking English! I ordered this burger with NO ketchup but of course I get gobs of ketchup. Unbelievable. This happens every fucking time!," Walsh quotes are ketchup-hating heroine.

As Walsh notes, if this particular establishment mucks up her burger order Every Single Time, why doesn't she go to one of a zillion nearby burger establishments that DON'T muck up burger orders?

Anyway, the woman Walsh writes about is all too common. Do a search on YouTube and see how many bazillion examples there are of people losing it over a minor mistake in customer service.

As for the offering a new ketchup-free burger? Not good enough.

"No, I don't want a new burger! Give me your name and the number to corporate! I'm sick of this shit! Give me my money back and the number to your corporate office! Why can't I ever fucking get good customer service?!"

Probably because you're always screaming about you can never get fucking good customer service. Who would want to, with your crummy attitude.

Yes, I get it. When I order something and it turns out wrong, I'm vaguely irritated. But almost always, the customer service rep fixes it and everybody's happy. There are some companies that don't give a whit about customer service and basically say "screw you" when an order is messed up and it's their fault.

But they are generally an exception.  
Customers who bully should be treated as "seriously"
as Marvin the Martian, who always seems
to be "very very angry." 

My job involves a fair amount of customer service. It's interesting, more often than not, when there's a problem with an order and it's our fault, and not the customer, the customer is pretty amazingly understanding, provided we fix the problem, which we always do

When the order problem is the customer's fault, like when they ignore the warning on the web site that we can't garauntee delivery before Christmas if you order after such and such a date, they scream at us, and no matter what we do, we can't appease them.

I guess this type of person can't handle being wrong, so they lash out.

The customer is always right ethos is wrong. There's a difference between great customer service and assuming the customer is always right no matter how terribly wrong they are.

A minority of people internalize the "customer is always right" idea and try to bully the retailer, the service provider, or whatever, into doing something they can't do.

It's all about them.

If there's a sale, say 20 percent off, and there's a disclaimer that says the lower price can't be combined with another offer, they go ballistic. Like everything has to be handed to them for free.

If every business did that, every business would go out of business, if you can follow that.

"The customer is always right" slogan forces employees to give better service and prices than people who are pleasant and reasonable. Why should annoying people get advantages over nice people? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Wouldn't you want the nice people to keep coming back and the nasty people go elsewhere? It's better for business, better for morale, better for everybody. Except the nasty person, but who gives a frig about them?

The vast majority of customers are perfectly reasonable. They want a fair price, an honest salesperson, decent qualilty goods, food or services and no bureacracy. Perfectly reasonable.

It is also an absolute joy to work with these pleasant, fair minded customers. Thank goodness almost all of them are like that.

It's perfectly fair to fire employees who can't or won't give great customer service. It's also fair to "fire" customers who demand much more than great customer service, and abuse people to get what they want.

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