Despite what we are much used to say: The client is always right, we are about to explain why this is not true, or at least not all the time.
But this is, of course, not an easy task, let’s start by understanding the complete meaning of the idea: The client is always right.
The sentence has its origins at the Selfridge store, in London, around 1909, by Harry Selfridge, who used the sentence as a part of a marketing strategy that worked that well that the sentence is still widely used to refer to good service.
This famous sentence came from the basic principle that the client is the priority in the sales process, one of the key expectations of a salesperson is the capability to fulfill the client’s demands.
Let’s get back to this final idea: Fulfill the client demands, because here is the key point to understand how toxic this sentence can be for a business.
Try to imagine the situation in which a client is requesting material for a product that we know is not going to work properly, just because is cheaper. Or that the client is complaining about a product damaged when they handle it outside the product indications. Or that a box is not strong enough to keep a product because the client did not measure the weight of the product correctly.
As companies, we are the experts in our fields, and is a part of our task to communicate effectively with our clients in order to guide them in a successful process even when this means letting them know that they are not right.
Now imagine the situation in which the client pays late or in a different way from the initial agreement, or tries to use their position to get an advantage or a client that makes a request that goes against the policies of the company.
Those are actually common situations.
Despite what we thought before, we need to evaluate the sentence and realize that the client is right just if the client is actually right.
Here are some aspects we can use in our daily business to avoid falling into a “who is right spiral”, or be willing to concede the whole right to the client:
- Effective communication,
- Keep in mind: Giving in is not always the answer
- It is valid to negotiate, from both sides
- Always listen carefully.
As extra, our best strategy: Make sure that the final product speaks by itself, the best way to get a good client-company relationship is to accomplish the agreements in the best possible way.
Contact us! we are always ready for new partnerships.