Are Customer’s Always Right?

The Customer is always right????

A recent flurry of feedback from our customers in the eBash Terre Haute store has me thinking of the age old saying “The Customer is always right”.  I am not sure I can buy into that customer service mentality these days when I think of people who complain about anything at restaurants or browse through the awesome pictures at People of Walmart (www.peopleofwalmart.com).   It seems like these days all you have to do is get angry and throw a fit at a store to get whatever you want for free.

I want to share a link to our forum thread that I have now complied all of the complaints and feedback into a new eBash Terre Haute Comment Box format.  This started from my recent 3D blog and quickly bloomed into “everything wrong with eBash” but in a somewhat constructive way.  The cool part is that I have been inspired by a few of the comments and also had a revelation that I will share in my blog tomorrow.

eBash Terre Haute Comment Box: http://www.ebash.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=9441

Reading through the thread brings a few things to mind that I want to highlight and get some feedback from other game centers and customers.

#1 – If comments or complaints seem to be repeated or have a theme then there is more than likely a problem that needs addressed.  Many times there will be certain customers you can’t please no matter what.  They have super awesome triple processor liquid cooled mega machines all over their house and your systems cannot stand up to their 3DMark test.  However if 3-4 different people mention the same thing then it is probably worth looking into further.

I wonder if KL and Kyle know what they are talking about?

#2 – Try to look into an underlying message beneath the surface of the actual comments.  Is the customer missing a feeling they used to get when coming to your center that has been removed through a change in store hours, pricing package or remodeling project?  Much of the theme through the thread on the eBash forums to me says “We really want to be proud of our store and hang out there but…..”

#3 – Like a parent protecting their children it is hard as a game center to hear anything “wrong” with the store and not immediately go into defensive mode.  You can see that in some of my responses.  I start to pick apart the comments and tell the person where the holes might be in their complaint instead of addressing the actual problem.

#4 – In our business, most of the time the customer probably IS right.   If they are pointing out a problem or making a suggestion you can almost bet that something needs to be changed.  The situation is probably not of the same magnitude that the customer perceives.  “All of the headphones do not work on the computers” probably means they tried a couple stations and then got frustrated and stopped looking.

#5 – Get the customers involved.  Turn that problem into an opportunity.  In our case it seems like we need a regularly scheduled walk through and testing of our PC equipment.  I am going to work with a few of the customers who are the most passionate about these problems and give them free hours to help us with weekly maintenance.

My final opinion?  Yes, customers are always right.*  With an asterisk next to it because the customer may not know exactly what the problem is or the actual level of concern but underneath the surface they are probably on to something.

6 thoughts on “Are Customer’s Always Right?

  1. I remember a time when we had specific employee duties like testing all of the headphones/sound…Or making sure certain games were all up to date and loaded on the machines. Maybe going back to this, or allowing customers to have free hours to do the busy work is a viable option.

    You can always set up a “comment card” box in the store too…The military does this with about everything. Anytime you visit any place on base and have to use their service, you always fill out a survey. Offer an hour free if they fill out a survey legit…Or a free drink? who knows.

  2. Mike – You are right, we need to get our list updated of things to do. Knock on wood but at least at eBash lately there isn’t much down time where the employee just stands around idle anyway.

    Nate – Yeah, I believe that the food service business is out of control with people moaning and complaining about everything.

    Alomax – Hehehe… that needs to be made into a sign and posted in our stores! 🙂

  3. Really I think you guys do a good job. You have a full house of working machines at lightning speeds along with plenty of events which your loyal customers keep attending. You’re doing things right.

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