“The customer is always right” — If you’re a millennial or from a generation before that, you’re all too familiar with this phrase. And many of us probably somehow benefited from this mantra as a consumer without even knowing it. Because there’s no denying that we’ve been subjected to less-than-satisfactory services before that were, subsequently, corrected to our satisfaction by a highly accommodating customer service team. But those were the good old times, and the-customer-is-king attitude is slowly disappearing. Enter the customer rebellion.
A Wall Street Journal article states that, according to the National Customer Rage Survey, 74% of customers have all been “victims” of a company’s poor customer service in the past. Now there’s a consumer push-back and companies are forced to notice — as consumers, of course, want them to!
Why There’s Been a Consumer Rebellion Lately
People are tired of sub-par service, poor quality, and lame excuses.
Consumers are even revolting against their go-to brands by purchasing fewer products. Some shoppers now opt for cheaper alternatives because of the increasing prices of the products. Other shoppers who prioritize their viewpoint against environmental waste are also taking a stand by boycotting large companies that generate waste or use non-eco-friendly products. And then there is the review pay-back — negative reviews on Google and other search engines or directories intended to call out companies for poor customer service, product support, or product quality.
Poor product quality
Most companies guarantee “100% customer satisfaction” — otherwise, you “get your money back.” However, these days, businesses are slowly making their customers lower their standards when it comes to product quality; so as to not have them complain about how their products aren’t the same anymore. You’ve probably noticed that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have shrunken in size; and that your bag of chips may be the same size, but half of its contents is air. Your shoes don’t last a season and your washing machine broke two days after you wrestled it into your laundry room. Meanwhile, prices keep going up, up, up.
There are several reasons for this — but mainly because companies have to cut down production costs or they have to keep up with the economic crisis themselves and take a hit on profits.
Businesses that offer services have to heavily rely on their staff in order to make their consumers happy. To achieve this, companies have to have competent managers to train their employees. But this doesn’t always happen — as companies aren’t always “equipped” with a team of highly-qualified workforces. Therefore, when their consumers don’t feel as though their experience with the services given to them is what they sought, they sometimes consider the company to be a terrible one — or less than satisfactory, at the very least.
Companies aren’t always to blame as to why they’re considered to be bad. Sometimes, there are simply just other consumers who don’t understand where they should draw the line between rightfully criticizing and unnecessarily complaining. Take modern-day “Karens” for instance — on one hand, we’re now becoming more aware of what’s going on in certain industries thanks to the internet. But on the other hand, the web is sometimes used as a “weapon” to unfairly tear down a business.
The internet “mob” also has the power to prevent a business from becoming successful or taking previously successful companies down a notch in public esteem. The downside to public shaming, however, is the danger of “Karens” leaving negative reviews that aren’t entirely justifiable, yet contribute to the overall rating of a business nevertheless. Low and even average consumer ratings can have a tremendous negative impact on a business, even when those negative reviews fail to deliver the full context or backstory as to what actually transpired.
The customer isn’t always right — and they shouldn’t be told that they always are. Unless, of course, the services being given to them are less than what was offered. Companies are expected to give their best services in order to be more successful — otherwise, there will be a consumer rebellion that will let them know when they’re dissatisfied with their services.
But there are several factors that can hinder them from giving their consumers the best type of service they can offer — like the inflation, expensive production costing, incompetent managers and employees, and consumers who can sometimes be unaware of when they’re crossing the line between exercising their rights and being unreasonably vengeful.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.