Why the Customer Is NOT Always Right

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If you have been following the site for any length of time, you know I am 100% about customer service. I that is really one of the most fun parts of my job. Well at my first job, I was told “The customer is always right”. I use to buy all in to that statement. Of course the customer is always right, RIGHT?

That statement caught my attention a few days ago. Someone on TV made mention of it, and it got be thinking. I was thinking how in my job, the customer is rarely right. If they were ALWAYS right, what the heck would they need me for? 😉

If I let my customers tell me everything that was wrong with their car, I would be in a world of hurt. Take this for example.

A customer comes in to my shop and tells me their check engine light is on. They also inform me that they think it is a Oxygen Senor.

Now if I just blindly followed “The customer is always right”, I would install an O2 sensor and send them out the door. Don’t think for a second that the situation doesn’t happen, it does, a lot! How mad would a customer be if I (knowingly) did this? Well an O2 sensor runs about $280, so my guess is pretty mad.

The reason that people bring their cars to me is for ME to be right. I owe it to my customers to be right, and to let them know that they are wrong. Another perfect example is when I found out that a customer is “topping up” their gas tank. That is when the pump shuts off and you “top it up” to the next dollar. If a customer tells me they do that, I MUST tell them they are wrong. If I don’t, then I am the one that is wrong. I know better, and it is my job to tell them.

This is not just being a mechanic. This goes for ANYONE in just about ANY job. If I called an electrician, he better tell me I am doing something wrong. I could get hurt. It doesn’t matter if you are a plumber, and car detailer, or nurse anything. If you are a professional, YOU need to be the one that is right!

So by now you might be thinking, “wow Charles, you are not really customer service minded are you?”. The truth is, that is what I am ALL about. I would never say “Hey stupid you are doing it wrong” to a customer. That would be stupid. 😉 Just really think for a second about how much it could cost someone if I let them think they were ALWAYS right. I care enough about my customers to be honest with them. Sometime that means telling them “You are wrong”. Like I said, if I don’t, then I am wrong.

If you are a professional, you will do the right thing for the customer, every time, no matter what. THAT is what the face of caring about your customers look like! Just remember, with our customers, there is no need for YOU! 🙂

12 replies
  1. Brett Donadeo
    Brett Donadeo says:

    What’s the problem with topping up, Charles? I don’t do it myself, but I didn’t realize it was an issue.

  2. Daniel
    Daniel says:

    Now, Charles…

    It depends on who the customer is. If I am the customer, then yes, the customer is always right!

  3. Gezika
    Gezika says:

    Love this post! You’re so right in its our duty to tell them that they are wrong (in a nice way of course). Being honest is always the best policy in my line of work as well! Happy Monday Charles!


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