The customer is always right… or are they?

13-May

Of course the customer is always right. Without customers every business would find themselves in the pit with all other failed business. Simply because customers pay the bills. A business cannot survive without clients or customers we all know this.

Have you ever had an argument with someone over text message? We bet you have and we will also bet that it really is the worst medium to use. So often things are misconstrued, tones are confused and more often than not, it just makes things worse.

If we agree that text messages are not the best medium to use when dealing with conflict, where does social media fit in? Posts, tweets they are all text based. Naturally it’s probably a bad idea to have an argument on a social media platform.

It does of course become even more precarious when you consider that “text speak” is a whole new language and the conventional grammar we usually use has many different uses over text. For example “It was crazy, I literally died and then LMAO!!!!!” this denotes excitement and not shouting also you’ll notice the new meaning for the word, literally. Fortunately, this person also did not “literally” die. This example was a tweet from a person that had been to a music concert. How would you respond to that as the organiser of the concert?

The question again is, “is the customer always right?”
The answer is yes but as you will notice from the examples, figuring out what it is exactly your client/customer or brand ambassador is saying over text and social media is not always so simple.

We cannot control how other people read or interpret messages, posts or tweets, there are many cases where innocent posts or tweets have ended with a group or individual taking serious offence and it ending in a civil claim or lawsuit. You can however control how you respond.

Some companies decide that the safest option is to avoid any controversial topics all together over social media. There is nothing wrong with that. You have the mavericks; a particular chicken fast food franchise springs to mind. This team has landed themselves in hot water plenty of times but so far it’s working for them although it might not work forever.

Those are the polar ends of the scale and as a business you should decide where in that scale you’d like to fit. As we said we can’t control what other people write and interpret but we can control how we respond.

The customer is always right and as such they deserve to be treated with respect and courtesy. When you respond to a message on social media platforms, stay away from formal. It comes across a patronising and makes it all too formal. Whether it’s a response to good or bad comments make it personal and genuine. They have taken the time to give you feedback, honour them with yours. It’s worth it every time.

Only as an absolute last resort should you remove a heated conversation from social media. Unfortunately, this is often interpreted as the business having something to hide and it often also generates negative hype around the conversation too. If you’ve followed the above advice, rarely will engagements go sour.

Be friendly and empathetic. Bad customer service or client relations are the quickest way to loose people. It is unnecessary. Again, when using social media as your communications means or just generally keeping in touch, it is a tool to be used. Never, ever negate the relationship. Keep it friendly and to the point.

Great customer service is in short supply these days and the quickest and easiest way for your business to get ahead of the competition is simply to provide that service.

How you respond determines whether your customer is right or not.
We would love to hear how you would rate your business’s customer service. You can contact us here or on our various social media platforms.