Is the customer always right?

Is the customer always right? The most debatable topic in our industry…

"The customer is always right" is a motto or slogan which exhorts service staff to give a high priority to customer satisfaction. ... "If we adopt the policy of admitting whatever claims the customer makes to be proper, and if we always settle them at face value, we shall be subjected to inevitable losses."

Working in the hospitality industry you are constantly working with the general public. Working with the public on a daily basis can prove to be difficult at times. ‘Is the customer always right?’ is one of the most debatable topics in every section of the working industry. It often causes unwanted conflict between the customer and the employees. It makes the employee’s job very difficult if the customer is complaining on things they cannot control.

Customers often make unreasonable expectations and requests that sometimes cannot be resolved and it leaves us as the employees trying to make the best out of a bad situation often offering discounts on their next return etc. As employees it can be difficult to give other customers your best service when you are stuck dealing with the complaining customers. This can reflect badly on other customers and if you receive one bad complaint on places such as trip advisor then it can completely change the way customers view your establishment. I personally think sites such as trip advisor are a good way of expressing your opinion but can also cause a lot of bother for establishments when one bad customer leaves a terrible review.

It makes you often wonder if some customers just complain for the sake of a discount or a full refund, this is something I seen a few times when I worked as waitress. As a waitress it is often a hard one, you need to take complaints on food that you never cooked yourself, often relaying back and forth between the customer and kitchen. I previously worked in a family friendly hotel and one couple complained of young kids making noise at the table across, as a waitress this is something completely out of my control. I wasn’t able to tell the young children to be quiet but at the same time all I could do was apologise on their behalf. When walking in to a family friendly establishment then you need to expect families with young children to be around. I was in utter shock but again, I could only do my best to ‘help’ the complaining customer and offered them a discounted bill at the end.

When looking at reviews myself I often look on one or more pages of the reviews as one bad complaint can be out ruled by several good reviews. Complaints are an excellent way for businesses to build and change things that may not be working for them; it allows the business to grow.

So it brings to me to ask the question, do you think the customer is always right?

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