Maybe The Customer Isn’t Always Right

I try to spend a few minutes each day reading up on ideas related to sound business practices. There is an unending source of good (and sometimes not so good) ideas for business management available.

One of the ideas that comes up over and over is the timeless concept that “the customer is always right”. After many years of selling specialty products online and through catalog sales, I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

I field at least a couple of phone calls every day from a prospective customer who needs to be talked out of making a purchase from us. This is sometimes harder to do than one might think, but I would always prefer to lose a sale than to sell you the wrong item.

Over and over, a customer will try to talk me out of recommending that they not use a tape product for an outdoor application because it does not have UV protection and is not intended to stand up to exposure to sunlight.

Time after time, I have to convince a customer that using an extension cord of too small a gauge will create a fire hazard.

I wish I had a nickel for all the times I have tried (unsuccessfully) to convince a caller that the performance of a ProCell battery is identical to that of a Duracell CopperTop.

It has always been our hope that by creating web sites that were deep with information that we could lead customers to make the right choice-a purchasing choice that would provide a product that met their needs. The same theory is at work when we provide information that should help a prospective customer realize that they product they are considering is not the right item to meet their needs.

Sometimes we lose a sale by insisting that the customer is not always right, but, in the end, this is a lot more satisfying than trying to always make the sale.

Are you someone who believes that conventional business wisdom is not always the way to go? Share your thoughts with us!
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Harrison Bros. Inc.
47 North Chatham Pkwy.
Chapel Hill, NC 27517les.