If you’ve worked in a line of business which requires interacting with customers and providing adequate service in order to maintain customers and gain them, I’m sure you might have heard the “The customer is always right,” line. In efforts to keep a business alive and prosperous, managers and employees want to see and keep customers happy whether it be with excusing a fine, allowing specific purchase/return, or simply agreeing with them when expressing an opinion, despite how right or wrong it may be. As frustrating as it can be knowing a customer is wrong, what’s best for the company always comes first, even if it means swallowing one’s pride. These sort of situations determine the true “power” of a customer within a company. Managers of all sorts of lines of business are forced to place their focus on what will attract customers of all demographics. After all, that’s the purpose of a business: seek profits.
Netflix is an example of a company whose main focus is the satisfaction of a customer. With the services it provides, Netflix has been known to be extremely successful for many years now. Not only does it service costumers through the internet, but right at their door, too, with the DVD rentals. For a long time, Netflix had a set monthly fee of $9.99 for streaming rentals and unlimited DVD, until they decided to raise the price to $15.98 in 2011. News of this didn’t sit well with costumers who had been long time users. At that point users threatened with canceling their subscription and turn to options like Redbox or Hulu Plus.
As it states in the article “How Netflix’s New Prices Causes a Customer-Service Uproar,” written by Andrew Hampp and published in July 2011, costumer service representatives didn’t how to response to such threats, as they “did not appear to have a strategy for addressing customer complaints.” In a situation like this one, it is not the responsibility of the customer service representative to come up with a “strategy” to adress this sort of issue. Companies may expect changes in their customer turnout, but not all companies foresee threats to cancel services due to a price change. At this point of complaints, higher level management is responsible for providing scripts or options for customers to decrease the intensity of their complaint. When customers influence such price changes, we start to see the power they truly have on such decisions. If the customer is unhappy, management finds a way to change their minds in order to maintain their loyalty to a company.
In October 2011, Netflix reached a point at which it could no longer afford to lose any more customers and investors, so in efforts to avoid this, Netflix sent out an email to all customers admitting to being right about an issue that had been ongoing. Many times companies have no other option than to admit to their customers that they are right, no matter how wrong they may be.
So what are you thoughts? Must a company always put their customer first, no matter how wrong they may be? Is that the only way to keep a customer?