Dear Member October 21, 2019 - Customer Always Right?

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The customer is always right. Or, are they? If you have ever worked in sales, at a restaurant, in retail, or with the public, at one time or another you have encountered a disgruntled customer.
The slogan “the customer is always right” was coined in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London. The truth is that this concept has never lived up to its hype. Unrealistic expectations are one of the worst kinds of pressure you can put on your employees. And, when your employees are unhappy it shows in their relations and makes for bad business. 

It would be great if everyone lived by the same ethics and principles, but let’s face it, they don’t. Further, because we are all different, there are always a few customers or consumers who act plumb crazy. You know those people for whom nothing you are going to do is going to make them happy. They are comfortable with being miserable, and they look for ways to display their misery and unhappiness. There is no simple fix for this.

In those cases, when you impose your belief that the customer is always right on your employees, you create frustration and you telegraph a lack of support for your workers. They can never reach your goal of making every customer happy. Instead, you can take stock of the people who work for you and think about how to be supportive and show them that you value their work. Because of the support and kindness you show them, they will in turn typically strive to make your customers happy.

“If you take care of your people, your people will take care of your customers and your business will take care of itself.” ~ JW Marriott

Work hard, be productive, and, above all else stay positive.

Peggy White
Executive Director
Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce
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