Recently while getting my hair cut at a major franchise salon business, a customer came in who had supposedly made an appointment with a specific stylist. The stylist was absent as she was not scheduled to work Saturdays. The customer was upset on hearing this, insisting the stylist had always done her hair on Saturday afternoons. The manager then intervened, and while he could have handled this any number of ways, he chose the following.
He told the customer, "I do all the scheduling and Missy has never worked on a weekend. She has children and can't arrange for a babysitter so she only works Monday through Friday! You had to have come in on a Monday through Friday if Missy ever did your hair." The customer was given no way out. Not only will they not get their hair cut today, they have been insulted to boot. We have all been in this customer's shoes at one time or another, how did we respond? Probably with a tersely worded "Fine, I will never get my haircut here again!"
In all likelihood, the manager was correct if she indeed handles the scheduling, but what was to be gained by creating conflict with the customer? Instead, the manager could have apologized for the misunderstanding while trying to reschedule at a day and time suitable for the customer. The manager could have even given the customer a discount coupon to remove some of the sting from an unpleasant interaction. A combative approach may not result in losing the customer, but even if you retain their business, they will probably not enthusiastically recommend your company to others. At worst, they will tell prospective customers to avoid your firm. A good adage to keep in mind is this. The customer may not always be right, but they are always the customer.