PDA

View Full Version : Top 5 reasons why “The customer is Always Right” is wrong


|Zach|
03-20-2008, 03:05 PM
http://positivesharing.com/2008/03/top-5-reasons-why-the-customer-is-always-right-is-wrong/

When the customer isn’t right - for your business

One woman who frequently flew on Southwest, was constantly disappointed with every aspect of the company’s operation. In fact, she became known as the “Pen Pal” because after every flight she wrote in with a complaint.

She didn’t like the fact that the company didn’t assign seats; she didn’t like the absence of a first-class section; she didn’t like not having a meal in flight; she didn’t like Southwest’s boarding procedure; she didn’t like the flight attendants’ sporty uniforms and the casual atmosphere.

Her last letter, reciting a litany of complaints, momentarily stumped Southwest’s customer relations people. They bumped it up to Herb’s [Kelleher, CEO of Southwest] desk, with a note: ‘This one’s yours.’

In sixty seconds, Kelleher wrote back and said, ‘Dear Mrs. Crabapple, We will miss you. Love, Herb.’”

The phrase “The customer is always right” was originally coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London in 1909, and is typically used by businesses to:

1. Convince customers that they will get good service at this company
2. Convince employees to give customers good service

Fortunately more and more businesses are abandoning this maxim - ironically because it leads to bad customer service.

Here are the top five reasons why “The customer is always right” is wrong.

1: It makes employees unhappy

Gordon Bethune is a brash Texan (as is Herb Kelleher, coincidentally) who is best known for turning Continental Airlines around “From Worst to First,” a story told in his book of the same title from 1998. He wanted to make sure that both customers and employees liked the way Continental treated them, so he made it very clear that the maxim “the customer is always right” didn’t hold sway at Continental.

In conflicts between employees and unruly customers he would consistently side with his people. Here’s how he puts it:

When we run into customers that we can’t reel back in, our loyalty is with our employees. They have to put up with this stuff every day. Just because you buy a ticket does not give you the right to abuse our employees . . .

We run more than 3 million people through our books every month. One or two of those people are going to be unreasonable, demanding jerks. When it’s a choice between supporting your employees, who work with you every day and make your product what it is, or some irate jerk who demands a free ticket to Paris because you ran out of peanuts, whose side are you going to be on?

You can’t treat your employees like serfs. You have to value them . . . If they think that you won’t support them when a customer is out of line, even the smallest problem can cause resentment.

So Bethune trusts his people over unreasonable customers. What I like about this attitude is that it balances employees and customers, where the “always right” maxim squarely favors the customer - which is not a good idea, because, as Bethune says, it causes resentment among employees.

Of course there are plenty of examples of bad employees giving lousy customer service. But trying to solve this by declaring the customer “always right” is counter-productive.
2: It gives abrasive customers an unfair advantage

Using the slogan “The customer is always right” abusive customers can demand just about anything - they’re right by definition, aren’t they? This makes the employees’ job that much harder, when trying to rein them in.

Also, it means that abusive people get better treatment and conditions than nice people. That always seemed wrong to me, and it makes much more sense to be nice to the nice customers to keep them coming back.
3: Some customers are bad for business

Most businesses think that “the more customers the better”. But some customers are quite simply bad for business.

Danish IT service provider ServiceGruppen proudly tell this story:

One of our service technicians arrived at a customer’s site for a maintenance task, and to his great shock was treated very rudely by the customer.

When he’d finished the task and returned to the office, he told management about his experience. They promptly cancelled the customer’s contract.

Just like Kelleher dismissed the irate lady who kept complaining (but somehow also kept flying on Southwest), ServiceGruppen fired a bad customer. Note that it was not even a matter of a financial calculation - not a question of whether either company would make or lose money on that customer in the long run. It was a simple matter of respect and dignity and of treating their employees right.
4: It results in worse customer service

Rosenbluth International, a corporate travel agency, took it even further. CEO Hal Rosenbluth wrote an excellent book about their approach called Put The Customer Second - Put your people first and watch’em kick butt.

Rosenbluth argues that when you put the employees first, they put the customers first. Put employees first, and they will be happy at work. Employees who are happy at work give better customer service because:

* They care more about other people, including customers
* They have more energy
* They are happy, meaning they are more fun to talk to and interact with
* They are more motivated

On the other hand, when the company and management consistently side with customers instead of with employees, it sends a clear message that:

* Employees are not valued
* That treating employees fairly is not important
* That employees have no right to respect from customers
* That employees have to put up with everything from customers

When this attitude prevails, employees stop caring about service. At that point, real good service is almost impossible - the best customers can hope for is fake good service. You know the kind I mean: corteous on the surface only.
5: Some customers are just plain wrong

Herb Kelleher agrees, as this passage From Nuts! the excellent book about Southwest Airlines shows:

Herb Kelleher […] makes it clear that his employees come first — even if it means dismissing customers. But aren’t customers always right? “No, they are not,” Kelleher snaps. “And I think that’s one of the biggest betrayals of employees a boss can possibly commit. The customer is sometimes wrong. We don’t carry those sorts of customers. We write to them and say, ‘Fly somebody else. Don’t abuse our people.’”

If you still think that the customer is always right, read this story from Bethune’s book “From Worst to First”:

A Continental flight attendant once was offended by a passenger’s child wearing a hat with Nazi and KKK emblems on it. It was pretty offensive stuff, so the attendant went to the kid’s father and asked him to put away the hat. “No,” the guy said. “My kid can wear what he wants, and I don’t care who likes it.”

The flight attendant went into the cockpit and got the first officer, who explained to the passenger the FAA regulation that makes it a crime to interfere with the duties of a crew member. The hat was causing other passengers and the crew discomfort, and that interfered with the flight attendant’s duties. The guy better put away the hat.

He did, but he didn’t like it. He wrote many nasty letters. We made every effort to explain our policy and the federal air regulations, but he wasn’t hearing it. He even showed up in our executive suite to discuss the matter with me. I let him sit out there. I didn’t want to see him and I didn’t want to listen to him. He bought a ticket on our airplane, and that means we’ll take him where he wants to go. But if he’s going to be rude and offensive, he’s welcome to fly another airline.

The fact is that some customers are just plain wrong, that businesses are better of without them, and that managers siding with unreasonable customers over employees is a very bad idea, that results in worse customer service.

So put your people first. And watch them put the customers first.

Dicky McElephant
03-20-2008, 03:09 PM
Amen.

She didn’t like the fact that the company didn’t assign seats; she didn’t like the absence of a first-class section; she didn’t like not having a meal in flight; she didn’t like Southwest’s boarding procedure; she didn’t like the flight attendants’ sporty uniforms and the casual atmosphere.

My advice? Don't ****ing fly then.

chiefforlife
03-20-2008, 03:13 PM
http://positivesharing.com/2008/03/top-5-reasons-why-the-customer-is-always-right-is-wrong/

When the customer isn’t right - for your business

One woman who frequently flew on Southwest, was constantly disappointed with every aspect of the company’s operation. In fact, she became known as the “Pen Pal” because after every flight she wrote in with a complaint.

She didn’t like the fact that the company didn’t assign seats; she didn’t like the absence of a first-class section; she didn’t like not having a meal in flight; she didn’t like Southwest’s boarding procedure; she didn’t like the flight attendants’ sporty uniforms and the casual atmosphere.

Her last letter, reciting a litany of complaints, momentarily stumped Southwest’s customer relations people. They bumped it up to Herb’s [Kelleher, CEO of Southwest] desk, with a note: ‘This one’s yours.’

In sixty seconds, Kelleher wrote back and said, ‘Dear Mrs. Crabapple, We will miss you. Love, Herb.’”

The phrase “The customer is always right” was originally coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London in 1909, and is typically used by businesses to:

1. Convince customers that they will get good service at this company
2. Convince employees to give customers good service

Fortunately more and more businesses are abandoning this maxim - ironically because it leads to bad customer service.

Here are the top five reasons why “The customer is always right” is wrong.

1: It makes employees unhappy

Gordon Bethune is a brash Texan (as is Herb Kelleher, coincidentally) who is best known for turning Continental Airlines around “From Worst to First,” a story told in his book of the same title from 1998. He wanted to make sure that both customers and employees liked the way Continental treated them, so he made it very clear that the maxim “the customer is always right” didn’t hold sway at Continental.

In conflicts between employees and unruly customers he would consistently side with his people. Here’s how he puts it:

When we run into customers that we can’t reel back in, our loyalty is with our employees. They have to put up with this stuff every day. Just because you buy a ticket does not give you the right to abuse our employees . . .

We run more than 3 million people through our books every month. One or two of those people are going to be unreasonable, demanding jerks. When it’s a choice between supporting your employees, who work with you every day and make your product what it is, or some irate jerk who demands a free ticket to Paris because you ran out of peanuts, whose side are you going to be on?

You can’t treat your employees like serfs. You have to value them . . . If they think that you won’t support them when a customer is out of line, even the smallest problem can cause resentment.

So Bethune trusts his people over unreasonable customers. What I like about this attitude is that it balances employees and customers, where the “always right” maxim squarely favors the customer - which is not a good idea, because, as Bethune says, it causes resentment among employees.

Of course there are plenty of examples of bad employees giving lousy customer service. But trying to solve this by declaring the customer “always right” is counter-productive.
2: It gives abrasive customers an unfair advantage

Using the slogan “The customer is always right” abusive customers can demand just about anything - they’re right by definition, aren’t they? This makes the employees’ job that much harder, when trying to rein them in.

Also, it means that abusive people get better treatment and conditions than nice people. That always seemed wrong to me, and it makes much more sense to be nice to the nice customers to keep them coming back.
3: Some customers are bad for business

Most businesses think that “the more customers the better”. But some customers are quite simply bad for business.

Danish IT service provider ServiceGruppen proudly tell this story:

One of our service technicians arrived at a customer’s site for a maintenance task, and to his great shock was treated very rudely by the customer.

When he’d finished the task and returned to the office, he told management about his experience. They promptly cancelled the customer’s contract.

Just like Kelleher dismissed the irate lady who kept complaining (but somehow also kept flying on Southwest), ServiceGruppen fired a bad customer. Note that it was not even a matter of a financial calculation - not a question of whether either company would make or lose money on that customer in the long run. It was a simple matter of respect and dignity and of treating their employees right.
4: It results in worse customer service

Rosenbluth International, a corporate travel agency, took it even further. CEO Hal Rosenbluth wrote an excellent book about their approach called Put The Customer Second - Put your people first and watch’em kick butt.

Rosenbluth argues that when you put the employees first, they put the customers first. Put employees first, and they will be happy at work. Employees who are happy at work give better customer service because:

* They care more about other people, including customers
* They have more energy
* They are happy, meaning they are more fun to talk to and interact with
* They are more motivated

On the other hand, when the company and management consistently side with customers instead of with employees, it sends a clear message that:

* Employees are not valued
* That treating employees fairly is not important
* That employees have no right to respect from customers
* That employees have to put up with everything from customers

When this attitude prevails, employees stop caring about service. At that point, real good service is almost impossible - the best customers can hope for is fake good service. You know the kind I mean: corteous on the surface only.
5: Some customers are just plain wrong

Herb Kelleher agrees, as this passage From Nuts! the excellent book about Southwest Airlines shows:

Herb Kelleher […] makes it clear that his employees come first — even if it means dismissing customers. But aren’t customers always right? “No, they are not,” Kelleher snaps. “And I think that’s one of the biggest betrayals of employees a boss can possibly commit. The customer is sometimes wrong. We don’t carry those sorts of customers. We write to them and say, ‘Fly somebody else. Don’t abuse our people.’”

If you still think that the customer is always right, read this story from Bethune’s book “From Worst to First”:

A Continental flight attendant once was offended by a passenger’s child wearing a hat with Nazi and KKK emblems on it. It was pretty offensive stuff, so the attendant went to the kid’s father and asked him to put away the hat. “No,” the guy said. “My kid can wear what he wants, and I don’t care who likes it.”

The flight attendant went into the cockpit and got the first officer, who explained to the passenger the FAA regulation that makes it a crime to interfere with the duties of a crew member. The hat was causing other passengers and the crew discomfort, and that interfered with the flight attendant’s duties. The guy better put away the hat.

He did, but he didn’t like it. He wrote many nasty letters. We made every effort to explain our policy and the federal air regulations, but he wasn’t hearing it. He even showed up in our executive suite to discuss the matter with me. I let him sit out there. I didn’t want to see him and I didn’t want to listen to him. He bought a ticket on our airplane, and that means we’ll take him where he wants to go. But if he’s going to be rude and offensive, he’s welcome to fly another airline.

The fact is that some customers are just plain wrong, that businesses are better of without them, and that managers siding with unreasonable customers over employees is a very bad idea, that results in worse customer service.

So put your people first. And watch them put the customers first.

That was excellent. I have applied many of those concepts to my business. I will make a better effort to insure my employees that they are first and customer second.
Thanks for posting that.

phisherman
03-20-2008, 03:13 PM
darn good read.

keg in kc
03-20-2008, 03:13 PM
If she was 'constantly disappointed' then why did she 'frequently fly'?

Retard.

Deberg_1990
03-20-2008, 03:19 PM
If she was 'constantly disappointed' then why did she 'frequently fly'?

Retard.


My thoughts exactly. WTF??

|Zach|
03-20-2008, 03:23 PM
If she was 'constantly disappointed' then why did she 'frequently fly'?

Retard.

There are a lot of people who love...absolutely love being unhappy about things like this. They seek it.

phisherman
03-20-2008, 03:25 PM
just goes to show you that some people can always find something to b**ch about

Deberg_1990
03-20-2008, 03:26 PM
There are a lot of people who love...absolutely love being unhappy about things like this. They seek it.

Thats a sad way to go through life....Some people will never be satisfied.

I can understand why business's dont want their business then.

Didnt Sprint dump a bunch of people like this last year?? Not that it helped them any....

kaplin42
03-20-2008, 03:26 PM
Think of this article next time you go out to eat. Having worked in resteraunts for 10 years and now doing tech support, I can very easily tell you that a majority of the time, the customer isn't only wrong, but ****ing retarded stupid, and more than that, generally assholes to boot.

keg in kc
03-20-2008, 03:29 PM
I'm always polite to everybody serving me, whether it's in a restaurant or at a drive-through window. I'm not sure why, it just seems like the right thing to do.

I often wonder if they feel guilty about spitting in my food after I treat them like human beings.

seclark
03-20-2008, 03:30 PM
test them before you decide to provide them a service.
sec

chasedude
03-20-2008, 03:40 PM
test them before you decide to provide them a service.
sec

How can you test them?

Bwana
03-20-2008, 03:41 PM
Good read and exactly how I conduct business. The majority of the time, you can work with customers and work problems out, but in a few cases, you get some dickweek that is not only unreasonable, but wastes a lot of compay time. In those few instances, it's best just to cut your ties and tell that person so go rub some salt on their ass and hit the road.

seclark
03-20-2008, 03:45 PM
How can you test them?

more of a wish...
if not a test, maybe a "imafkingjerkoff" chip placed in the neck or behind the ear.

pull up to the house.
meet the person at the front door.
run the scanner over their face
if the light's green, hook up thier service
if it's red, hit the road.

sec

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-20-2008, 04:14 PM
After having worked in electronics at one point, I can tell you that 90% of problems with devices are due to user error and general dumbassery.

Most customers are ignorant assholes.

Amnorix
03-20-2008, 04:23 PM
Thats a sad way to go through life....Some people will never be satisfied.

I can understand why business's dont want their business then.

Didnt Sprint dump a bunch of people like this last year?? Not that it helped them any....

Yep.

Amnorix
03-20-2008, 04:26 PM
I still remember one time when I was a kid working at McDonald's and someone requested a "rare" Quarter Pounder. It's odd to get that kind of request there, but being a bit fussy about my food myself, I had no problem, did it personally (I was the senior guy in grill) and was careful to do it right.

5 minutes later the guy comes back having eatena bout 85% of it, says "look, it's rare," and requests that we trash it and get another one. I heard about it and nearly went over the counter to strangle him. Stupid F**king manager gave him another one, free, on the "customer is always right theory".

And I was so pissed off about it I still remember it now, 20 years later...

dtebbe
03-20-2008, 04:38 PM
The way I run my business is simple.

- Reasonable customers are always right

- Unreasonable customers can kiss our collective ass

DT

chasedude
03-20-2008, 04:42 PM
Most customers are ignorant assholes.


I agree! :clap::clap::clap::clap:

Frazod
03-20-2008, 04:44 PM
Unfortunately, this doesn't work with the legal industry (at least the high level stuff my firm handles). If we tell some rude prick to go pound sand, we can lose hundreds of thousands in legal fees; perhaps millions in lost future business. Especially if the rude prick represents the financing segment of a transaction, you've just got to suck it up and deal with his shit.

Golden Rule: he with the gold makes the rules.

ClevelandBronco
03-20-2008, 04:45 PM
Think of this article next time you go out to eat. Having worked in resteraunts for 10 years and now doing tech support, I can very easily tell you that a majority of the time, the customer isn't only wrong, but ****ing retarded stupid, and more than that, generally assholes to boot.

The "majority of the time, the customer isn't only wrong, but ****ing retarded stupid, and more than that, generally assholes to boot"?

I think you missed the point of the article. It was about a very special minority of customers.

I'd fire your ass immediately.

Dicky McElephant
03-20-2008, 04:46 PM
Think of this article next time you go out to eat. Having worked in resteraunts for 10 years and now doing tech support, I can very easily tell you that a majority of the time, the customer isn't only wrong, but ****ing retarded stupid, and more than that, generally assholes to boot.

Try working in the elections business. I have to deal with people's "rights". These are the same people who can't correctly fill in a little bubble on a ballot. I don't know how many times I've dealt with bitchy customers because they're registered as the "wrong" party. They all get pissed when I show them their voter registration form and they can see that they're the ones that made the mistake.

Cave Johnson
03-20-2008, 04:50 PM
Unfortunately, this doesn't work with the legal industry (at least the high level stuff my firm handles). If we tell some rude prick to go pound sand, we can lose hundreds of thousands in legal fees; perhaps millions in lost future business. Especially if the rude prick represents the financing segment of a transaction, you've just got to suck it up and deal with his shit.

Golden Rule: he with the gold makes the rules.

Doesn't work on the low level stuff also. Pretty much the best recourse is to make up for the aggrivation in other ways.

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-20-2008, 04:58 PM
I'll never forget the first year that I worked at Radio Shack in college. This asshole comes in and wants a checkbook calculator. Well in spite of the absolutely idiotic nature of such a request, we actually do have such a product, since the cocksucker can neither use internet banking nor can he perform the complex procedure of subtraction on paper.

He starts giving my coworker a hard time about the one that we do have because it's the last one that we've got left. He goes back and gets a box for it, boxes it up, and starts to ring it out.

Of course, the asshole is bitching the whole time about how long it's taking him to find a f*cking 6"x1" box in the back room, and then when he comes back, the guy pays with a check. Well, my coworker asks for ID,

"I'm not giving you my f*cking ID."
My coworker calmly says that he has to have to it process a check
"Bullshit, no you don't."
Coworker replies that if he'd like to he can pay w/ cash or a card
"No, I'm writing a goddamned check"
Sir, I'm gonna have to have your license number and see a photo ID
"No, you're f*cking not"


At this point, I snap, grab the loose check, rip it up, and hand him the pieces.

I told him "You're right, we don't have to see your ID. Now get the f*ck out, the door is that way --->"

He walks off, and as he left the store he said "I was just joking around"

:spock:

I swear to sweet Christ, if I ever saw that guy again, I'd chop his ass up with a chainsaw just to hear the harmony of the metal teeth whirring through his flesh and chipping his bones.

Dicky McElephant
03-20-2008, 05:11 PM
I swear to sweet Christ, if I ever saw that guy again, I'd chop his ass up with a chainsaw just to hear the harmony of the metal teeth whirring through his flesh and chipping his bones.

Tell us how you really feel. :)

Rain Man
03-20-2008, 05:18 PM
I have proof that some customers should be jettisoned.

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/attachment.php?attachmentid=76873&stc=1&d=1205644576

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/attachment.php?attachmentid=76874&stc=1&d=1205644813

Rain Man
03-20-2008, 05:20 PM
Think of this article next time you go out to eat. Having worked in resteraunts for 10 years and now doing tech support, I can very easily tell you that a majority of the time, the customer isn't only wrong, but ****ing retarded stupid, and more than that, generally assholes to boot.

You've seen that guy in my picture, too!

AZORChiefFan
03-20-2008, 05:43 PM
My boss should read this. I lay out ads for a real estate publication. The realtors get proofs sent to them until they approve the ad. On our end we have me then 2 other people (production managers) that are supposed to proof the ads as well to catch anything I or the realtor may have missed. So with all these checks in place things still fall through the cracks and even if we have a written or emailed OK from the realtor. If a mistake is found my boss blames me. I am all for taking responsibility if I was truly at fault for a 'mistake' but when the customer and people I work with all miss the mistake to me all are to blame. Well I know my boss isn't gonna say to the realtor 'well you approved the ad so some of this is on you as well' He listens to them, gives them a refund or discount and then calls me into his office to ask me why the mistake happened and to let me know that it was my fault in case I didn't realize it was indeed my fault.

KCChiefsMan
03-20-2008, 05:54 PM
good read, I couldn't agree more! Too bad it's hard to find a company that believes that though!

Demonpenz
03-20-2008, 05:56 PM
The customer isn't always right, but always a customer. Sometimes the customer is the one that needs to be fired. Your staff should be attending to the GOOD customers. Not the ones that are shit. ahh what retail and claims do for your love for people ;)

plbrdude
03-20-2008, 06:05 PM
If she was 'constantly disappointed' then why did she 'frequently fly'?

Retard.

some people seem to have a need to complain. she is one of them.

Halfcan
03-20-2008, 06:09 PM
Women are ALWAYS right and Men are ALWAYS wrong

Don't believe me??? Just ask ANY women and she will set you straight.

listopencil
03-20-2008, 06:55 PM
I had the misfortune of dealing with people like this in the fast food industry. One time I overheard three customers ordering and they were obviously under the influence of alcohol. Not drunk but a little buzzed. I made eye contact with my register person and switched myself in to finish taking the order. I made sure to read back the order but they couldn't be bothered listening. I made a point of not completing the transaction until I had read it back. Sure enough they brought it back and complained, saying that they were missing stuff. They weren't missing anything they had payed for, and I told them I'd have to charge them if they wanted more food. They got loud and abusive. They cussed, tried to throw the register at me and tried to grab my tie. I threw them out.

Thig Lyfe
03-20-2008, 07:07 PM
Customers blow.

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-20-2008, 07:11 PM
Customers made me feel like this:

http://pigvomitgoesoff.ytmnd.com/

BIG K
03-20-2008, 08:01 PM
This is why I loved my career of 12 years.

It did not matter how pissed off my 'customers' were with our poor treatment of them, they always returned to our 'place' of business frequently....... in handcuffs awaiting booking.

:)

listopencil
03-20-2008, 08:21 PM
This is why I loved my career of 12 years.

It did not matter how pissed off my 'customers' were with our poor treatment of them, they always returned to our 'place' of business frequently....... in handcuffs awaiting booking.

:)

Then we were your customers.

Rain Man
03-20-2008, 08:22 PM
This is why I loved my career of 12 years.

It did not matter how pissed off my 'customers' were with our poor treatment of them, they always returned to our 'place' of business frequently....... in handcuffs awaiting booking.

:)

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/uc/20080319/lcl080320.gif

KcMizzou
03-20-2008, 08:41 PM
Good read.

I remember one time, soon after we took on a new truck line, I had a nasty run-in with a customer. First a little backround...

Almost all the parts catalogs are online now. You have to enter a model and serial number to even open the catalog. Basically, thats gives you one catalog specific to that truck. One choice for each part, so if you find the item they need... it's always right. (in theory)

Anyway, this guy comes in, says I need this, this and this. I say no problem, can I get the model and the last six of your VIN? Of course he didn't have it.

No big deal, I ask for the complete VIN, so I can figure out the model myself. He doesn't have that either.

Now he's getting pissed. Grumbling, cussing, just generally pissed off. I say, "Is there anyone you can call back at the shop? I'd love to help ya out, but that's just the way the system works these days. I could pull up a random VIN, but the parts would probably be wrong, and you'd have to come back."

Now he's practically foaming at the mouth. He grabs my phone, calls back to his shop and says, "Give the the serial number for truck number blahblahblah, this stupid motherf*cker doesn't know how to look up parts."

I reached across the counter, took the phone out of his hand, and hung it up. Told him, "You're done. You're not getting anything from me. It's time for you to leave." He looks over to a coworker and tries to get help from him... and the guy says, "I saw the whole thing. It's time for you to leave."

I called my boss at home. (At that point, I worked nights) Told him my side of the story, because I wanted to get to him first...lol I asked, "Is so-and-so a big account?" He said yeah, but it was a father and son operation, and they're both pricks. He also said, "It's not good, but there's a limit to what you have to put up with."

Oddly enough, the guy never called to complain. (probably because he knew he was out of line) They're still customers, too. As far as I know the guy hasn't been a problem since, though. Of course, if he wanted to take his business elsewhere, he'd have to look a state or two further away.

KcMizzou
03-20-2008, 08:56 PM
Good read and exactly how I conduct business. The majority of the time, you can work with customers and work problems out, but in a few cases, you get some dickweek that is not only unreasonable, but wastes a lot of compay time. In those few instances, it's best just to cut your ties and tell that person so go rub some salt on their ass and hit the road.Amen. There are certain customers (not many, but they're there) who end up costing you more money than they bring in to your business.

BIG K
03-20-2008, 09:19 PM
http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/uc/20080319/lcl080320.gif

Hillarious!:)

We actually had a form "How are we doing?" Exiting customers were encouraged not to fill it out........You know, the whole, "You can fill this out but I must warn you, all the supervisors must read it before you leave so that we can adress your concerns. Could take several hours you know.."

What can I say? It's still the wild west here....

Fun times.....

KcMizzou
03-20-2008, 09:27 PM
Hillarious!:)

We actually had a form "How are we doing?" Exiting customers were encouraged not to fill it out........You know, the whole, "You can fill this out but I must warn you, all the supervisors must read it before you leave so that we can adress your concerns. Could take several hours you know.."

What can I say? It's still the wild west here....

Fun times.....:spock: Dude...

So.. say they actually were mistreated. I've read stories about people who have legitimate complaints about such things...

Rather than try and strong-arm them, why not just make sure you were in the right, and tell your side of the story?

Don't get me wrong, I'm no cop hater... that just seems shady. And IMO law enforcement employees, more than any other group of people, should not engage in such tactics.

JAllen69
03-20-2008, 09:31 PM
Could not agree more with the post. Some people are actually better off being told to go elsewhere. They'll take advantage of their opportunity to act like a pig if given a chance. My father in law has run his insurance business for nearly 35 years, and he's never been afraid to tell a pain in the *$% to take a hike if need be. Unfortunately for me, I teach at a high school, so you can't really tell a student to go to hell. Good thing I'm pretty patient.

KcMizzou
03-20-2008, 09:33 PM
Could not agree more with the post. Some people are actually better off being told to go elsewhere. They'll take advantage of their opportunity to act like a pig if given a chance. My father in law has run his insurance business for nearly 35 years, and he's never been afraid to tell a pain in the *$% to take a hike if need be. Unfortunately for me, I teach at a high school, so you can't really tell a student to go to hell. Good thing I'm pretty patient. Good Lord. You'd have to be.

Welcome to the Planet. :toast:

jjchieffan
03-20-2008, 09:43 PM
The woman in the story sounds like my wife when she eats out. I am constantly embarrassed by her throwing a fit about her food. It ranges from sending her fries back at McDonald's 90% of the time to her food being too done, not done enough, or just doesn't taste right at a sit down restaurant. I don't think Pizza Hut has ever got her pizza right the first time. And she wonders why I never want to take her out to dinner.

KcMizzou
03-20-2008, 09:47 PM
The woman in the story sounds like my wife when she eats out. I am constantly embarrassed by her throwing a fit about her food. It ranges from sending her fries back at McDonald's 90% of the time to her food being too done, not done enough, or just doesn't taste right at a sit down restaurant. I don't think Pizza Hut has ever got her pizza right the first time. And she wonders why I never want to take her out to dinner.Let alone cook for her. :eek:

BIG K
03-20-2008, 10:02 PM
:spock: Dude...

So.. say they actually were mistreated. I've read stories about people who have legitimate complaints about such things...

Rather than try and strong-arm them, why not just make sure you were in the right, and tell your side of the story?

Don't get me wrong, I'm no cop hater... that just seems shady. And IMO law enforcement employees, more than any other group of people, should not engage in such tactics.

It was just a joke my friend. I run into 'ex-clients' everyday, pretty much nothing but good things are exchanged. If I was a bad cop, there would be alot of hostility when seeing them. Instead, they adress me as "How are you Mr. ******?" I was one of the better cops.

:)

KcMizzou
03-20-2008, 10:07 PM
It was just a joke my friend. I run into 'ex-clients' everyday, pretty much nothing but good things are exchanged. If I was a bad cop, there would be alot of hostility when seeing them. Instead, they adress me as "How are you Mr. ******?" I was one of the better cops.

:)Right on. :thumb:

I know being a cop isn't easy. (My step dad is a detective) Hell... If getting disrespected at my job now and then upsets me, I doubt I could handle yours. I suppose you get desensitized to it after a while.

Thanks for doin' what you do. And try to keep in mind... some people you meet up with are just normal people having the worst day of their life. (Others are worthless dirtbags. You can probably tell the difference pretty quickly.)

BIG K
03-20-2008, 11:06 PM
Right on. :thumb:

I know being a cop isn't easy. (My step dad is a detective) Hell... If getting disrespected at my job now and then upsets me, I doubt I could handle yours. I suppose you get desensitized to it after a while.

Thanks for doin' what you do. And try to keep in mind... some people you meet up with are just normal people having the worst day of their life. (Others are worthless dirtbags. You can probably tell the difference pretty quickly.)

Thank you for your words. Honestly, like I used to tell those in that situation, "The only difference between you and me, is that I NEVER got caught!" We are all humans...

But yes, I did get desensitized to the repeat offenders, especially those who are leaving their wifes and children behind....

CosmicPal
03-20-2008, 11:29 PM
I've worked in tech support, customer service, and sales. Everyone I've ever worked with have said the same: "You treat me like a human being when contacting me, and I'll provide you the best service possible. You treat me like sh*t, don't be surprised if I treat you the same."

I know people in the restaurant business who've said they've done some nasty things to a person's order when that person treated them unkindly. Based on those stories alone, I'll never treat a wait person with disrespect.

Baconeater
03-20-2008, 11:57 PM
I've worked in tech support, customer service, and sales. Everyone I've ever worked with have said the same: "You treat me like a human being when contacting me, and I'll provide you the best service possible. You treat me like sh*t, don't be surprised if I treat you the same."

I know people in the restaurant business who've said they've done some nasty things to a person's order when that person treated them unkindly. Based on those stories alone, I'll never treat a wait person with disrespect.
This isn't directed at you unless you've done it yourself, but a customer being a prick doesn't in any way shape or form justify ****ing with their food. If the management doesn't have the balls to tell them to take a hike then tough shit.

Discuss Thrower
03-21-2008, 12:02 AM
The tag for this thread is pretty comical.

Anyway, from a customer's POV (though I've probably seen enough in my younger days at the phone company to tell from an service side view) at restaurants, I always assume the waiters automatically hate me, don't make too much of an issue of anything (I am a messed up eater, so it's always fun to explain how I don't want such and such on my plate), and always tip well. And, in a karmic way, it's worked. I've never felt the need to not tip someone or downgrade their tip because of poor service.

With tech support, I try and be as cordial as possible, thank them for helping me profusely, make small talk when either side is waiting for someone. When the laptop I am typing this up went down for no apparent reason, I was helped by I am assuming to be a Hispanic immigrant (he sounded like Luis Guzman), and he did a good job of fixing my computer (juggled the RAM sticks around). I emailed Alienware and noted how I appreciated his help.

DenverChief
03-21-2008, 12:21 AM
I had the misfortune of dealing with people like this in the fast food industry. One time I overheard three customers ordering and they were obviously under the influence of alcohol. Not drunk but a little buzzed. I made eye contact with my register person and switched myself in to finish taking the order. I made sure to read back the order but they couldn't be bothered listening. I made a point of not completing the transaction until I had read it back. Sure enough they brought it back and complained, saying that they were missing stuff. They weren't missing anything they had payed for, and I told them I'd have to charge them if they wanted more food. They got loud and abusive. They cussed, tried to throw the register at me and tried to grab my tie. I threw them out.


you should have called the police and had them at the very least trespassed

PhillyChiefFan
03-21-2008, 07:15 AM
After working in retail for years, I COMPLETELY agree with this. People can be rude and obnoxious and managers should take the side of the employee in some cases.

I worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car as an intern for a summer, and it was hell on earth because people wanted EVERYTHING for free and my boss was a d*ck to me because I didn't want to bend over backwards for some a*shole everytime there was a oak leaf stem in the trunk.

Dartgod
03-21-2008, 08:17 AM
It says one hundred percent guaranteed, you moron!

Mister, if you don't shut up I'm gonna kick one hundred percent of your ass!

Dartgod
03-21-2008, 08:24 AM
I have one funny story from my years as an auto parts counterman. I worked for a local chain of 4 stores in Johnson County. The owner was a blast to work for, he didn't take crap from vendors, customers or anyone.

He had each one of his four stores located near a Western Auto. One day this douche comes in and wanted an air filter for his car. He was bitching about the price; wondering out loud if it was even the right one; just generally being a dick about everything. He ended up leaving, saying that he was going next door to Western Auto to get it cheaper.

He came back shortly afterwards to get the filter we had, because WA was out of stock. The filter was still sitting on the counter and my boss picks it up and flings it behind him down the aisle and tells him, "Sorry, I don't have that one in stock". The dude was flabbergasted. He was like, "but thats it right back there on the floor." My boss wouldn't give in, and he had to leave without his filter. It was funny as hell.

I can also remember dropping commercial customers because they would abuse our parts drivers on a regular basis.

CosmicPal
03-21-2008, 09:32 AM
I generally live by a few rules when I'm the customer:

1. Never piss off anyone handling your food and/or drinks.

2. Never piss off anyone who is controlling the vehicle you are a passenger of.

3. Never piss off anyone who is working on your vehicle or house.

4. And lastly, never, under any circumstances, piss off the chick who is going down on you.

:D

Mr. Plow
03-21-2008, 10:05 AM
I've worked in tech support, customer service, and sales. Everyone I've ever worked with have said the same: "You treat me like a human being when contacting me, and I'll provide you the best service possible. You treat me like sh*t, don't be surprised if I treat you the same."

I know people in the restaurant business who've said they've done some nasty things to a person's order when that person treated them unkindly. Based on those stories alone, I'll never treat a wait person with disrespect.


That's the rule I try to follow. If you want to talk rationally to me, I'll listen and do my best to help. But, if you are going to be an asshole, don't expect me to go 1 inch out of my way.

rockymtnchief
03-21-2008, 11:13 AM
This reminds me of a gal that threw a fuss and was yelling in a cafe because her chicken fried steak wasn't made out of chicken. The waitress, manager, cook, and about 3 customers explained to her that it's a chicken fried STEAK. She argued that chicken fried steak is ALWAYS made of chicken. She wanted a free meal for the whole table of 4, threatened to sue, and threatened to buy the place and fire everyone.
To everyones delight, the waitress took her plate away and the manager kicked her out.

Lzen
03-21-2008, 11:59 AM
This reminds me of a gal that threw a fuss and was yelling in a cafe because her chicken fried steak wasn't made out of chicken. The waitress, manager, cook, and about 3 customers explained to her that it's a chicken fried STEAK. She argued that chicken fried steak is ALWAYS made of chicken. She wanted a free meal for the whole table of 4, threatened to sue, and threatened to buy the place and fire everyone.
To everyones delight, the waitress took her plate away and the manager kicked her out.

That would be chicken fried chicken. From the sound of it, Darwin's theory will probably take her out long before she is ever able to buy the place and fire everyone. ;)

Welcome to CP, btw.

Lzen
03-21-2008, 12:06 PM
That is a good article. I can tell you some stories from my days as a convenience store clerk and eventually manager. I had patience up to a certain point. If I found a customer to be too much to deal with, I kicked them out.

My boss is one of those aholes sometimes when we go out to lunch. I try to avoid going out to lunch with him if possible.

Skip Towne
03-21-2008, 12:16 PM
I call it my "2% rule". I don't want the business of 2% of the customers I deal with. That 2% will cause 25% of your troubles. Let him go disrupt your competitor while you take care of the good ones.

alnorth
03-21-2008, 12:21 PM
Unfortunately, this doesn't work with the legal industry (at least the high level stuff my firm handles). If we tell some rude prick to go pound sand, we can lose hundreds of thousands in legal fees; perhaps millions in lost future business. Especially if the rude prick represents the financing segment of a transaction, you've just got to suck it up and deal with his shit.

Golden Rule: he with the gold makes the rules.

It really depends on the kind of business you have.

If your in a business where you have like 10 clients, little opportunity to easily replace one, and they make up all your revenue, then the customer is always right.

For the vast majority of other businesses where you have hundreds, thousands, or millions of customers, then employees are more valuable than any 1 assh*le customer.

vailpass
03-21-2008, 12:22 PM
If she was 'constantly disappointed' then why did she 'frequently fly'?

Retard.

If you fly corporate you get on whatever plane your corp travel services puts you on. If she flew the same route repeatedly and Southwest was the cheapest carrier for that route she would have been forced to fly in those cattle cars due to her job.

Calcountry
03-21-2008, 01:09 PM
Good read and exactly how I conduct business. The majority of the time, you can work with customers and work problems out, but in a few cases, you get some dickweek that is not only unreasonable, but wastes a lot of compay time. In those few instances, it's best just to cut your ties and tell that person so go rub some salt on their ass and hit the road.
Just beware the temptation of firing too many customers, before long, that is the only business you will be doing. In fact, if you get good enough at it, you might even have to start a seminar where you explain how to fire customers in order to help you with your bills.

Before you fire one, just sniff your own armpits once and see if there was any guilt on your part, anything reasonable you could have done to avoid their assholery, and after that, just let em go.

el borracho
03-21-2008, 04:40 PM
That was excellent. I have applied many of those concepts to my business. I will make a better effort to insure my employees that they are first and customer second.
Thanks for posting that.

Was it really necessary to quote the entire lengthy article to make your response?

el borracho
03-21-2008, 04:44 PM
If she was 'constantly disappointed' then why did she 'frequently fly'?

Retard.

Because under the "customer is always right" system her incessant bitching would have been rewarded with ass-kissing and free stuff. People in this country feel so entitled, as if they are so important they can have everthing their way at all times. Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant can tell you- people turn into little lawyers at the slightest opportunity, lobbying for free crap.

Rain Man
03-21-2008, 05:23 PM
It really depends on the kind of business you have.

If your in a business where you have like 10 clients, little opportunity to easily replace one, and they make up all your revenue, then the customer is always right.

For the vast majority of other businesses where you have hundreds, thousands, or millions of customers, then employees are more valuable than any 1 assh*le customer.

Yeah, my business has about 50 to 80 clients a year, and there's strong word of mouth. I would never openly "fire" a client unless it was a drastic case. We'll just suck it up and get them out the door. However, I have a couple for whom I would be "too busy" to write a proposal if they ever come back.

trndobrd
03-21-2008, 06:43 PM
Great article. Someone really needs to forward it to Carl Peterson.