There are myths of customer service that small businesses believe are true without ever questioning them. Unfortunately, running a company based on these principles can actually hurt it. Here are the biggest myths of customer service and how a company can use the truth to improve their business:

Myth #1:  The customer is always right. This has been the justification for every irritating customer since Caesar Ritz declared this 100 years ago.

The Truth: If the customer was always right, many small companies would go out of business. Instead, always listen to the customer’s point of view since they think they are always right. Having empathy will lead to a fair resolution form the customer’s point of view.

Myth #2:  Good customer service is just plain common sense. Many small business owners think if they just hire “smart people with good common sense” that they will do a great job at customer service.

The Truth: Since customer service means different things to different employees, each company needs to carefully train their staff to a standard that will satisfy their customers.

Myth #3:  Good customer service is about having high-quality products. Great products lower customer complaints.

The Truth: All companies (even Apple) will get customer service inquiries because of malfunctioning or broken products. The business can never predict how the customers might use them.  

Myth #4:  The term “good customer service” means the same thing to everyone. Unfortunately, this term means different things from customer to customer and from day to day.

The Truth: Customer service people need to be trained to find out what the customer’s own definition is and how they can satisfy them.

Myth #5:  Ethics, pride, and altruism are all reasons for providing excellent customer service. Some companies think that customer service is just the right thing to do.

The Truth: Small business owners should practice outstanding customer service because it will make the company more money by keeping customers who are loyal and can become promoters for the company.

Myth # 6:  Unhappy customers are a part of doing business. If you handle a customer complaint well, the offended customer will be even a more loyal customer.

The Truth: While this is partially true, most disgruntled customers will just go away and the company will never know about it. Unfortunately, they will still tell the story of their bad experience all over the web.

Myth #7:  Customers don’t care about great service; they just want the lowest price possible. While customers do focus on price especially if what they are buying is a commodity, people do not always buy the lowest priced product or service.

The Truth: Customer will pay a higher price for value. Think Apple and Harley Davidson.

What myths do you need to bust in customer service?


Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He is a small business motivational speaker, writer, and radio host. Barry can be found at