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Customer Service: Why Being Nice Isn't Always The Answer

If you have ever owned a business or worked in any sort of customer service position, you have probably heard someone say, “the customer is always right”. Well, as much as this may be a common saying and teaching in the customer service industry, I don’t really think it’s the truth. Nobody is always right and assuming such is not beneficial to the growth of a business and its community. We need to be honest with how we feel and choose to tell the truth rather than what someone wants to hear. So let’s dive a little deeper into this topic and talk about what it really means to be nice!

Right off the bat I just want to thank my team here at Plant Vitamins because I so often see reviews and emails complementing our customer service. If you have ever dealt with anyone here you know we are quick to issue a refund, ship out an additional product or replacement and just generally happy to help you work through any issue that may come. It doesn’t matter if it is a Plant Vitamins product or just any general plant issues you may be dealing with, we always love to answer your questions and do the best we can to make sure your experience is amazing. 

So when is it ok to be “not nice”? I don’t actually think it’s ever ok to be “not nice”, but I think often being friendly, easy going, and people pleasing gets mistaken for being nice. To me and to the staff at Plant Vitamins, being nice to people is being honest and genuine with them because we genuinely care about people and their ability to grow!  

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there” – John Assaraf. So, by saying, being nice is not always the answer, what I really mean is being fake is not nice, and telling someone the truth about how you feel or how they are treating you or people around you even if it may come across as “rude” or “mean” is the right thing to do. Imagine walking around with a big piece of lettuce in your teeth and instead of someone telling you that it is there they just tell you how good you look. This is a very simple illustration of how being nice and avoiding saying something that may be a little awkward is really the opposite of being nice, now you are just walking around with lettuce in your teeth. 

So what should customer service look like? To me the answer is simple, be genuine, and care about your customers enough to say something even when it’s not the easy or “nice” thing to say. It is much better to help someone grow and lose a customer than it is to keep that customer but stunt their growth or reaffirm a negative behaviour or action. We spend so much time building our businesses and working on our own growth it is only fair that we share that with the customers and people we interact with through the business as well. 

This is not an encouragement to be rude or mean or go ahead and tell off a customer that has been bugging you. What I want you to take away from this is that being genuine and real is always the right thing to do even if it doesn’t come across as “nice”. If you do adopt this style of customer service or use it already, I encourage you to do so out of genuine care and the desire to help people grow! 


Zach Regehr

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