When the customer is wrong


For you who are in the office reading this post and wondering whether the customer always is king, I retort to you “snigger!!!”

Let me not mince any words as you wonder what I could be on about since it is the customer who erm pays your so-called wages… Well, in my eyes, being a yes-person can get you certain plaudits but not a lot of respect. Telling the client off in a very polite manner on the other hand should be able to earn you some form of respect as somebody who takes no prisoners or alternatively knows what he/she is doing and refuses to be swayed.

In business, we always want to offer a great experience to our customers but the customers do not always feel that way. Many customers feel deserving of an over~and~above~experience that leaves you wondering if their money warrants certain type of behavior. Just remember the times you have paid for a service and feel comprehensively let down by the service provider as you expected a highly-recommended service provider to execute above~and~beyond.

On the flip side, when you are the service provider, it may seem like the client feels justified to make all sorts of wants/ needs known that fall outside what you agreed in principle. For such cases, it is safe to tell the client that you’ve done everything you can to help him/ her / them and yet they’re still unhappy, it may be time to count your losses, particularly if the customer is being unreasonable or abusive.

How do we know when we are giving our customers a good service to a customer that’s already dissatisfied with your products and services?

We should first of all be more concerned with what’s within our control; that’s the quality of service that we have to offer thereafter.

Therefore, our primary focus should always be;

  • Being courteous and respectful irrespective of age, tribe/nation or nationality, gender, social or financial status and many others.
  • To help customers clear any roadblocks that they may be having, whether it’s an exchange, refund or support. If it’s a technical issue, give the customer explicit instructions or send them to a technical support person who can help.
  • Being timely with responses as making an irate customer wait will only make matters worse.
  • Documentation of all communications.

If you’ve taken all these steps and your customer still isn’t happy, it may be time to say that you’ve done all you can, particularly if the customer is being abusive or unreasonable.

So when do we know that the customer is not right for you and your business?

We note a few instances where that may be the case:

  • If the customer continues to abuse you, your staff or your product, service or policies despite all your efforts to improve the experience.
  • If he or she personally attacks, threatens or belittles you or your employees.
  • If he or she has a track record of complaining or unreasonable requests.

It may cost you a customer, but showing employees you’ve got their backs could do wonders for morale

By Brian Ahabwe Kakuru

Brian Ahabwe KakuruBrian is the Managing Director at BLEGSCOPE®, and has over 9 years of management consultancy experience notably in the finance and banking industry, MSMEs, FMCG companies and in the service industry. He has a BA (Econ).  You can follow him on twitter: @BrianAhabweK



BLEGSCOPE is the brand name representing all BLEGSCOPE business and other initiatives that operate under BLEGSCOPE Capital Ltd (BCL).

BCL is an investment holding company based in Uganda that was set up to provide a valuable and unparalleled platform for like-minded entrepreneurs to exploit the numerous business and investment opportunities in the Great Lakes region.

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