I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “the customer is always right” at some point in your life. Perhaps you heard it working at McDonald’s or serving up chicken at Chick-fil-A; if not in food service, then definitely in the sales business, or at your local Apple store. Most of the companies I mentioned excel at customer service, but I know, and you probably know either as a customer or an employee, the customer is not always right! That’s correct. The customer is not always right and I’ve been saying it for years. Here’s my reasoning why:

1. The customer is human and bound to make as many mistakes as you or I do.

2. As a customer, we don’t always read the fine print, even more so when we make impulsive purchases.

3. Customers know they have a certain amount of power to flex.

4. Did I mention the customer is human and makes mistakes?

Still, because you want their business, the customer is always right, as that’s the way you want them to feel at the end of the phone call, or in-person interaction. You want the customer to feel right, you want them to feel good, you want them to feel like you just solved their quadratic equation and flew them to the moon and back. Oh, and make sure to do it quickly and efficiently! 

The customer must always feel important, cared about, and listened to; sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It’s a relationship that matures quicker and needs to be nurtured ASAP. This is what wins customers over, increasing brand awareness and loyalty. I repeat, the customer needs to feel they are right, even when they’re not. We, as customer service professionals, need to provide that customer care and treat each individual with the same level of respect we would for anyone else in our lives.

Listen, Learn, and Discern, then Act! 

Follow these guidelines to get satisfied customers:

1. Never take anything personally. 

Woman looks frustrated while talking on the phone
Woman looks frustrated while talking on the phone

Remember, it’s not about you. They’re frustrated and upset with the company and their previous experience. Use this moment to make their day while flipping their view of you and the company.

2. Always focus on the root issue; ask questions, listen, learn, and discern, then act. 

Woman listening to customer and taking notes
Woman listening to customer and taking notes

The more questions you ask, the better off you are. But be careful not to ask the same question to the point that you annoy them. Ask decisive questions that will get you and the customer to the correct solution. 

3. Be your customer’s superhero! 

Person dressed as superhero in Times Square
Person dressed as Batman in Times Square

I think this one is self-explanatory, but to clarify, go above and beyond for your customers! It’s great practice for you, it’s a winning experience for them, and it’s a preview of what you are capable of becoming: A superhero!

4. Take a mental break.

Person doing yoga
Person doing yoga

Do what you need to do to take a break from irate customers, but make sure it’s a quiet place where you can decompress and just empty your mind. Say a mantra, do some stretching, but whatever you do, do not talk to anyone during your alone time. Decompress!

5. Always speak in a tone that is comforting and welcoming. 

Cashier smiling while helping customer
Cashier smiling while helping customer

How would you speak to your grandmother? Do that with the customer, unless you’re a jerk to your grandmother, then don’t do that, and don’t be a jerk to your grandmother or anyone for that matter. Do better, be better, be comforting and welcoming!

6. Go the extra mile and never give up.

Sign that says "Nobody wows clients like we do!"
Sign that says “Nobody wows clients like we do!”

Superheroes never give up. They endure negative situations to change them to positives, even when people don’t recognize them for it. Always remember, to ensure you change negative situations, be positive yourself as well.

Ultimately, the customer is just like you; they are susceptible to their emotions, are imperfect, and are not always right. However, you must make them feel like they are right and solve their problem(s) by experiencing them with them. I guarantee if you maintain your composure, listen, learn, and discern, then act, you will make strides in your career while being a superhero for someone.

What are some things you do to ensure the best possible customer service? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.