In my years in management, one thing has always held true: The customer is not always right. In fact, they usually are quite the opposite.
For instance, I had a customer who was asking an associate a bunch of different questions regarding a pair of work boots. Simple, I thought, look at the tag inside the shoe. The numbers matched, yes indeed those were the same pair of boots, one just didn’t have the same label on it (saying that it was certified as a certain level of steel toe). My associates and I felt that the customer was just trying to pull one on us, it happens unfortunately. One of the associates went to go explain this to the customer. Not quite understanding the associate he went up to the register to talk to the cashier and have them page a manager.
And Here Begins a Lesson ..
When I approached the customer I had already know the situation and calmly explained that the shoes he had purchased were exactly the same. No…no..no, I was not right, he was. The shoe didn’t fit correctly, there was no way that it could be the same pair of shoes that belonged together. That’s when I had lost my calm…I know that the numbers matched, I managed the shoe department and I knew I was right. The shoe item numbers both matched, as well as the shoe size. Peoples feet are not exactly the same size, one foot is bigger than the other, I knew this and tried to explain. He wasn’t buying it. He wanted to exchange his heavily worn shoes (that he was trying to tell me couldn’t be the same left and right foot). I declined his demand and out left an upset customer.
What Was the Real Result?
In this moment I advertised my brand to be lacking authenticity and losing trust. Even though the customer wasn’t right, that wasn’t the point. Dissatisfaction with a product happens, but what’s even worse for advertising is bad word-of-mouth. Now that doesn’t mean that every opportunity should be approved, always pick your battles wisely. Always pay attention and listen with empathy, because in every step of the conversation you’re branding yourself and your company. I’m learning and growing from this experience. #brandme