It’s an old adage, and it’s one that a lot of business owners truly hate. The customer isn’t always right, we all know that. However, there’s a lot of benefit to not letting the customers know that we know it. Here, we’re going to go into the reasons to treat the market like it always knows what’s best, and why sometimes it’s better just to swallow your pride and play along rather than upset the apple cart.
Hearing your customers out, addressing their concerns, and going the extra mile to turn a crisis into a success story can be one of the greatest PR benefits your business has ever had and will improve your chances of not only retaining that customer but winning more referrals from them, too. One example of customer success leading to business success at its finest is the story of Dealdash. The method of frequent contact and relationship management and varied approach to customer support through a number of platforms can yield you the same kind of fanfare they’ve won both in online coverage and the review sites. Nowadays, more than 70% of customers that use an online business will check out a review site before they spend any money, so those forms of word-of-mouth are becoming more and more vital.
It provides insight
Listening to your customers can genuinely help the business improve, as well. Even if you don’t agree with a certain piece of criticism, if you start hearing it often enough, it’s well worth considering the point they have. You might not consider yourself in the business of doing whatever the criticism tells you to do, but when enough people are saying, that might mean it’s time to adjust your ideas of the market you’re in. Even if things are going swimmingly, creating an effective method for welcoming feedback, replying to it, and cataloging issues brought up will give you the consumer’s perspective. Never assume that things are fine as they are. When you do that, you truly risk being out-of-touch.
Otherwise, it can go so, so wrong
Yes, there are few examples of a brand taking on a more witty, sharp-tongued persona when it comes to dealing with criticism online. The Wendy’s social media account won a lot of attention and undoubtedly helped the brand with some of its more acerbic moments. Otherwise, however, taking the opportunity to “do battle” with a complaining customer on social media can go terribly wrong, even when you’re right. For examples that can easily serve as a horror story to business owners, look no further than Business Insider and its account of social media PR attempts gone horribly, horribly wrong. Make no mistake, even if you’re in the right, it’s easy for other customers to side with one of their own so you have to be careful, be courteous, and always be aware of the context.
The bottom line is that you should always treat customers with a bit of care. There are nothing but benefits to have when it goes right, whereas being right can sometimes still go terribly wrong. Of course, you have to draw the line at abusive customers. The staff needs some consideration, too.