Skip to Navigation

Most of us in the English-speaking world have grown up hearing the mantra “The customer is always right.” Like a lot of buzzwords and catch-phrases, it sounds good, but it’s not a reliable reference point these days, if it ever was. 

It was invented, no doubt, to be used as handy reminder for employees in the retail sector. Its aim was to help them remember that unhappy customers should be taken seriously and complaints remedied quickly.

A noble notion that has been taken up wholesale. It muscles its way into almost any arena where where there is a clientele or service users; customers now exist in places they never did before (public transport and education are two examples).

The original meaning has been generalised to become an unconscious script in many situations. to a point where staff on the receiving end of bad behaviour think that they must submit to discourteous behaviour and mistreatment. 

Time for a re-write. How about “The customer is only right when polite”?

Latest from the blog

How to still your mind

If  you want to change a habit or some aspect of your behaviour, it is easier to move towards what you want than it is to move away from what you want to change. So, to become a vegetarian, for example, first decide that you are becoming one and then design an attractive vegetarian diet. […]

Continue reading

Never Mind What Others Think

what others think

Even though we don’t realise it when we say we know what someone thinks about something, we are guessing. Even mind-reading – in a fairground or on stage – is trickery.

Yet we often allow our own thoughts and behaviour to be goverened by what we claim someone else will think. Maybe it’s time to review what we ‘know’.

Continue reading
%d bloggers like this: