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Is the customer always right ?

While 'always right' usually translates to 'never wrong', this isn't necessarily the case when it comes to customer service. Customers aren't going to be right in every situation. But they are entitled to having support and service teams do everything in their power (within reason) to satisfy their needs.


When can a customer be right or not when it comes to restaurant and hospitality? before that what are the types of customer complaints overall? let's first agree that types of complaints are more or less related to all 5 senses that a human enjoys - for those that do enjoy all 5 senses ...


A customer's complaint can be related to :


- A taste that doesn't meet their expectations (too hot, too cold, salty, not tasty, etc...


-A bad smell! food or non-food related such as someone having a bad smell coming out of their hotel room's just an example


-A climate-related (touch ), customer who is not enjoying the room's degree/climate control in his room, or finding a dining room too cold or too hot in a restaurant, swimming pool temperature not right, etc...


-A vision-related, food looks undercooked, presentation is not good and messy, hair inside food, portion too small, etc...


-Hearing related, Music too loud, nearby room with loud noises, noise coming from construction nearby etc...



Is that all? Well not in our days! We can add complaints that are related to Ego, expectations, Personalization etc...


The world of complaints is as complex as our actual world itself!


-A customer might complain about the fact that he/ she has been waiting too long to be checked in, or about a delay in their pick up from the airport as an example.


-A VIP customer might complain about the fact that he wasn't given enough attention upon arrival that matches the level of his/her profile being a loyal person for the company...


- A Well-known customer might complain that they weren't immediately recognized by hotel or restaurant staff...


- A customer might complain that a waiter was talking to their invitees instead of talking to them as host/ess or a party/event.


- A customer might complain about Wrong info that was posted on the location's website that didn't describe well the facility ...


On top of all of the above, Social media has created another level of expectations and opportunities for new types of complaints (A previous customer has posted a different look of a dish, and a customer is now checking all social media ratings that are related to a destination's offerings before visiting the place and tend to build a certain level of minimum expectations based on those reviews, that if not met or exceeded they end up complaining to the management about this matter ...



Therefore, if we sum all of the above opportunities for a customer to complain, we simply ask ourselves the question, can a hotel or restaurant management be ready to avoid all such types of complaints? No one can be perfect...


Is the customer always right? well, it all depends, are they objective in their complaint or a complaint coming from the part of their expectation, assumption, or other people's experience Versus theirs, or is it a subjective type of complaint? such as i felt i wasn't looked after correctly...


We should conclude that we cannot stop complaints from happening but the point is how we deal with complaints when they happen, what are our resolutions for each type of complaint, when we can deal with a certain type of complaint, and when we should escalate it to higher management levels to deal with?


What is certain, is that companies should take "Customer service training " very seriously, build a structure and explain to their staff what could be the proper resolutions for each type of complaint, also more than that, explain to their staff about the different types of complainers, awareness of reading people, analyze them and find the best way of dealing with them when it comes to complaints handling.


A big subject that can't be summarized in one blog, but customer service is the backbone for any business to sustain its reputation and ensure business continuity.




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