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3 Customer Service Myths Debunked

Whether you’re running a lemonade stand or a multi-billion dollar corporation, you’re going to have someone trying to give you advice on how to handle your customers. The question is, which customer service philosophies really work? I’m tackling three common customer service beliefs and dispelling them as myths.

The customer is always right

This is one of the best-known phrases in customer service. Unfortunately, it’s more myth than truth. In essence, this phrase encourages a customer-oriented mindset. However, the generalization that the customer is always right can lead to trouble for a business.

Firstly, it’s impossible to satisfy every single customer. You could be offering the lowest price out of all your competitors, but there’s still going to be someone who wants that price lower. And you just can’t give them that. You need to strike a balance between being firm and listening to the customer.

Secondly, people lie to get their way. Your customer’s dog (probably) did not eat their widget, and even though the customer feels that entitles them to a refund, it doesn’t.

Take this phrase with a grain of salt and be open to flexibility instead of bending for even the most ridiculous customer’s whim. This philosophy should be used as a guide, not as a rule.

When complaints go down, satisfaction goes up

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Complaints have been low this month. That’s good news, right? Not quite. Just because you’re not hearing about it, doesn’t mean that nobody’s complaining. In fact, if you’re not hearing complaints, that should probably sound alarm bells.

Complaints are a way of getting a second chance. Customers file complaints hoping for a solution that will restore their faith in your business. So if you’re not getting complaints, it may mean that your customers are going straight to your competitors instead. It could also reveal weaknesses in how your company approaches complaints.

Re-evaluate whether or not your clients feel welcome to complain and how easy it is for them to contact your business.

Spend money to acquire new customers than on existing ones

While it may seem like a good idea to spend the majority of time, effort and resources building up new client lists, what’s the point if most of them aren’t being retained? Think of your business as a dam where customers are water. It’s great if customers are constantly flowing to you. But if a dam has many holes (i.e. problems) in it with no one willing to repair them, customers will just continue to flow through, leaving your business.

We can even take this analogy a step further to say that weak spots in a dam can be further eroded by water. Let’s look at this as word of mouth. You want to make your existing customers happy in order to build and reassure a foundation of trust.

Spending time and effort to strengthen the ties with existing customers can turn into an investment to attract new clients as well. The prospect of a company that will look after customers long after the initial acquisition is an attractive selling point in itself.

When potential customers see that other customers are loyal, they know that something about the business must be good. Without the trust that your company will address customer concerns, loyalty cannot exist.

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