The customer is (never) always right #PetPeeveStories

I don’t know who invented those lines. But I’m pretty sure that it must have been either a customer or a really stupid businessman who probably had personal interests when this “principle” was conceived.

While the customer is allowed to complain about almost everything under the sun – from coffee that’s not served piping hot to a service that didn’t “seem” fit – the customer is NEVER ALWAYS right.

I’ve frequently wrote about disappointments emanating from the anatomy of expectations. When we set rules, limitations and promotions in ANY business or professional or personal endeavour, we make it outrightly clear to the customer (or relationship/partner) what to expect.

For example, when a business is in its start-up mode, there are promotions given to entice potential clients. Usually companies will provide free delivery services or “buy one and get another one free or a percentage off” until the company has regular customers. The promotions are part of capital expenditure for marketing. Eventually, the economics of business survival will mean that these promotions will need to be reviewed, redone, and rescinded. It makes business sense that in order for a company to survive, it should be profitable in the long term. And it also makes business sense that you don’t give away the house or lose going into bankruptcy. After all, every business has an overhead cost to maintain.

Even “newly licensed” professionals have less expensive professional fees than those with more experience or specialty and subspecialty training. After school and training, professionals network with colleagues and friends during start up. Over the years, professional experience together with additional academic achievement improves the value and cost of services.

Why am I explaining this?

Rudeness among customers emanate from unsatisfactory service based on expectations. Basic economics dictates that

Services rendered = Services paid for (and vice versa).

We are all customers in this commercialised environment. From talking to call center agents or getting a haircut to seeing a doctor for an illness or being served by someone 35,000 feet in the air…we are all customers.

Over lunch in a restaurant a few days ago, there was an exchange of words between the waiter and the customer. The customer was very angry over his coffee not being the right mix as he expected. Because the place was relatively packed, and he wasn’t being attended to immediately regarding his coffee concern, there were words that were said that were mean. What did the waiter do? He was just the server! The manager was called. The manager had apologized and they were not charging the customer for the coffee (which he had already almost drank the whole mug).

When the crew had gone back to their work areas, (and because I was sitting next to the rude man who were with his friends), he boisterously announced, “see, that’s how you get free coffee”! And the idiots smirked with him.

Really?!?! Sheesh. He didn’t have to make a scene out of it. But he did. And many do. They figure if they’re rude and totally vocal about it, and rant and trash (and maybe even post online) the establishment that didn’t accede to their petty desires, they’d be getting freebies! Those entitled pricks should be crucified!

There’s a lot of crap that goes around these days. And it’s infuriating that people find rudeness the new way rule rather than an exception to more appropriate behavior and values.

Demanding for what is rightfully ours should be within the context of what is just and of course, common sense!

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