6 Reasons Why Companies Tell Customers You're Not The Boss

The Boss
No Way

It was Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, who proclaimed that the customer is the boss. It’s certainly good practice as set out in the Cre8tive Flow Blog on Marketing Right Now. Unfortunately a number of companies seem opposed to the idea. Here are some reasons why:

1. It is the prospect who is the boss
The prospect has not decided and is in control, not the supplier.
2. The customer will buy only once
The fish has been caught on the hook.
3. The supplier has many customers, the customer has only one supplier
The customer needs the supplier but the supplier does not need the customer.
4. The customer has invested major effort in learning to use the product
It would be a shame to lose all that effort.
5. The customer will incur major costs to switch to another supplier
Better to suffer frustration than to have to pay out again.
6. The customer is locked in by a sales agreement
Just think of the handcuffs created by three year cellphone sales agreements.

Was your pet peeve in that list? Why not add your view in the comments.

Related: Top 5 reasons why “The Customer Is Always Right” is wrong

6 thoughts on “6 Reasons Why Companies Tell Customers You're Not The Boss”

  1. If by not the boss, you also mean the customers always right. I find that some customers are impossible to please and just need to be cut loose. The impossible customers take too much of my time and energy away from customers that I can satisfy.

  2. There’s nothing more short-sighted than the philosophy of “they’re already on the hook”. Companies need to start thinking about the lifetime value of the customer. Their first purchase is the one that costs you the most (advertising, etc.). Subsequent business is where profits are made.

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  4. I agree with these companies. In supermarkets, I often witnessed customers who act and talk like they own the world and that the service crews are their slaves. The poor employees had no choice but to accept the rude treatment and act apologetic. Whenever I see these scenes, I couldn’t help but think that: some people are born and living just to eat; and most people eat to remain alive. If I ever had my own business, I will not have any qualm on pointing out to rude customers that they are not always right–though in a respectful manner. Otherwise, I should not be a businessman. 🙂

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