Read the title again. The customer is NOT always right. The customers who scream the "customer is always right", more often than not, know they are in the wrong. The phrase has become a rallying cry to bully associates and small business owners.
I had been planning on writing this blog for the last four months. Then a few weeks ago a podcast I listen to also talked about it. The podcast is from RoundPeg and Its "More Than a Few Words". It's episode 488 if you want to listen to it.
I have spent nearly twenty five years working in retail. I can tell you almost everyone believes their reason for a return or grievance should always override your policies. It also does not matter the type of retail. I saw it in department stores to big rig and construction tires.
Here's the problem: customers do not know your business. They do not understand the federal or state guidelines around certain returns or business. In 1997, I was working in a major department store in Wisconsin. I was in the lingerie department. The number of women who would return worn shapewear was disgusting to me. Shapewear cannot be returned because it cannot be placed on the sales floor after the return. Reality is NOBODY wants to buy WORN shapewear. In this era of covid it seems even more disgusting than it was in 1997.
As a small business owner, you have to constantly be aware of changing laws and guidelines. There are always exceptions to the rules but you need to find out all the information to determine best course of action. One of my favorite local stores has a policy where situations that fall outside of the store policies can only be dealt with by the owners. It may take longer but if your situation does not fit the standard return policy you need to accept the situation. Again, a customer does not understand the inner workings of your company. They cannot and should not be placing demands on your business that fall outside of ability to accommodate.
Most importantly, not every customer is your ideal customer. You do not have to keep every customer. There are some worth letting go. Over the next few weeks I will tackle more customer service topics. These topics include the gray area and how to handle reviews.
In the meantime, do you need help understanding the digital world of marketing? Do you need help learning how to utilize Social Media Insights or software like Google Analytics? Are you tired of the stress of small margins? Book with me for your Free Retail Success Strategy Session and I will show you how to conquer technology and the digital world to improve your bottom line.
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