The customer is not always right

Here’s a great story from Natalie, who sent me an email to tell me how happiness at work has made her business much more successful:

My company owns and operates a sandwich franchise. We came into a market that the name brand struggled with in my city. My partner and I were so frightened to open this first store but believed that if we could change the atmosphere and create happiness we could be a success.

I am proud to say that we have not even been open a full year and our sales are approx. 186% higher than the other stores in the city. Second store on its way.

The other owners and even the franchisor themselves keep asking what our success tools were. I used to stand there and think of a clever, smart, analytical way to answer this. The answer was simple…. We cared about our staff and in turn they cared for our customers. Our staff repeatedly tells customers how much they love working there. Best reward I can ask for! I have super low turn over and you will never guess what the turnover mainly consists of…. An employee having a dream career and us helping them find the path to get there.

So I came across your article by typing into google “Why are customers so rude” You know what I got? A million different articles written on how to handle and keep that customer! Then I came across your article about how “The customer is always right” is wrong and got emotional. Thank you a million times over for believing and standing by your staff.

I noticed a great pattern in my store. Anytime we had one of those horrific customers who threatened us and my staff with “I am telling everyone how horrible you people are,” the next week we hit record sales. So we stop the mean customers and put our foot down. Our staff knows if they are being treated poorly never to stand for that! You are human and have feelings and do not deserve to be treated like crap!

My favorite line to say to really upset customers…”Sir/Maam, it’s okay it’s just a sandwich.” Risky I know but when you put it into reality for them most of them stop and look at themselves. Yes you are screaming and yelling at me that I ruined your day because the sandwich had tomatoes on it and you asked for no tomatoes but we even said we can remake it and we apologize for the mistake.

So again thank you for working with companies and spreading the word about this simple solution. I am thrilled to know that there are people out there who think this way as well and try to spread the happiness around. It inspires me more to share my happiness with the staff that I sincerely care for. I hope you come to the States more and I can see one of your segments in person. God knows this Country could learn a thing or two about happiness.

YES! Way to go Natalie.

I’ve said this a million times: When customers are rude or unreasonable, stand with your staff. It makes them happy and that in turn makes the other, reasonable, nice customers happy. And that way you make more money!

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2 thoughts on “The customer is not always right”

  1. Great post! I love the positive attitude and our quote…”it’s just a sandwich. Way to keep it in perspective

  2. I don’t think there are any set rules any more – you need to have the ability to decide between right and wrong and where you or the customer are engaged by ego and not common sense

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