Customer is King
A short while ago I was talking with a relative who manages a franchise of a bakery-café. She told me that one of the policies of this organization is to give the customer anything they want short of violating laws or corporate policy. Then she followed that up by stating that in most situations they will sacrifice corporate policy to ensure a happy customer. I couldn’t believe it, but I had to because what she stated provided clarity on a few occasions where I had seen this in action in my local branches of the bakery-café.
On one occasion I didn’t notice the sign indicating the credit card machine was inoperable so only cash transactions were being accepted. I didn’t have any cash but rather than cancel the transaction the cashier offered my purchase to me for free. I refused as it was my own fault for not paying attention. On another occasion at another location, I was there until closing time and tried to purchase something after the register had been closed. Again, rather than turn me away they provided me the beverage for free (yes, this time I accepted). I could go on and on about my experiences and others I have witnessed. Obviously the goal of the organization is not to go bankrupt by giving away free items, but instead to do whatever is necessary to make their customers happy.
Many of us can attest that the concept of the customer is always right is either totally gone or has been pushed down the ladder of priorities within most organizations. But what would it look like for each of us as individuals, in our circles of influence and our daily life, to adopt the attitude the customer (whoever we are dealing with) is right and we are going to make sure they know it:
-At the Grocery Store: To the cashier who is in training or the one who is just slow – instead of sighing and complaining about their delay, we would encourage them by name (they wear a name tag for a reason) and thank them for taking their time to do it right.
-In the Restaurant – To the slow waitress/waiter – instead of instantly deciding how much we are going to decrease their tip by, we would acknowledge that their busy day and we appreciate (state their name…it’s on their name tag) waiting on us.
-In our Schools – To the teachers and administrators – Instead of sending nasty grams of all that is wrong with the education system, we acknowledge what is being done right and ask how can we participate in making more things like that happen.
-In our Homes – To our family members – Just taking a moment to say to our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, mothers, or fathers…thank you for all you do, how can I be there for you today.