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Thread: "The customer is always right"

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    "The customer is always right"

    The marketing/business phrase 'the customer is always right' is business phrase attributed to Harry G Selfridge, and its meaning is often defined as: The trading policy that states a company's keenness to be seen to put the customer first.

    Is this how you run your business, or believe that it should be run?
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Member Tommo1965's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that Richard Branson said ...first look after your employees..then the product and then the customer.......as for "is the customers always right"..depends on how much they are spending ..but for me..no..they pay me for my knowledge and as such I will tell them if they are wrong..but thats not photography...so it might not apply to this thread
    Last edited by Tommo1965; 15-04-2012 at 5:10pm.

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    I think you need to read this along with "People's perspective is their reality". When read together, they mean that the customer always believes they are right and you should treat them with that in mind. Manage their perspective/reality.

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    I don't agree as a general rule.

    What I mean is that I don't establish my business policies and procedures only with my clients in mind. It NEEDS to work for me first and foremost, otherwise I don't have a business, I have an annoying noose around my neck.

    The key is to find that balance between doing what is right for ourselves and doing what is right for our clients and making a compelling business offering out of the results.

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    If the customer wants all your work refunded or for free are they right ?

    If they say can you selectively colour my eyes are they right ?
    Darren
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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I pretty much agree with the statement but in light of the definition that you applied: "The trading policy that states a company's keenness to be seen to put the customer first". I think the emphasis is on "to be seen as to put the customer first" . I judge each case on it's merits, but I do bend over backwards to make all cutomers happy as best I can depending on the situation.

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    Ausphotography Regular Allie's Avatar
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    Most people as clients/customers are lovely, reasonable people and just expect a fair deal so there is no difficulty in going beyond in making their needs paramount. But there are enough of the kind that are very difficult to please no matter what, which makes business sometimes very unpleasant! There are also some clients/customers who take "their definition" of "rightness" to the nth degree and expect service/goods for free if things are not to their liking (despite what is possible or even if they are blatantly wrong) but big retailers often accede to meeting that expectation to reduce possible negative reviews - one of my current jobs is in that field and saying the customer is always right was expected as a part of the interview process for the position.

    When I ran my own business, clients did get my best efforts but I also "fired" certain other clients - I won't take abuse and drama for drama's sake of myself or others just to make a sale and honestly I don't need those types in my life whether it is in business or real life. So, yes the client is important and meeting their needs in the best way possible is part of the business transaction but putting the term "right" into the business equation when the definition is open to interpretation is not what I would have chosen.

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    Member Cris's Avatar
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    Yes, I do believe that the customer is always right-it is a good rule and being empathetic towards customers and listening to their problem will usually bring about a win win resolution, unfortunately some people need to be directed elsewhere so they can be some else's problem, I could count on 1 hand over the last 30 years or so that I have been in retail that I have had to resort to doing that, and yes it does upset me that some people are beyond saving but I do have a responsibility to my staff who should have a work environment that lets them grow and that they feel safe, secure and worthwhile.

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    It's a nice quote, but without the additional defintion to give it relevance and context, it would be suicide to align your business activities to it.

    'We exist for our customers'; that nails it for me.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    ^ and 'you exist because of your customers.'

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