The title of this post is the same as the title for the Editors note in this February’s Inc. – The Magazine for Growing Companies – magazine. I found it to be a very interesting Editors note, and wanted to highlight the closing point from Jane Berentson:
“Maybe we should replace “the customer is always right” with a saying that is more appropriate for the times that we live in: Customers and companies should do right by each other.”
The paragraph before that is actually better:
…customers, too, have a responsibility to make a commercial transaction easy and pleasant, and if something goes awry, they should make their feelings known in a way that’s considerate – and considered. It’s always been possible to complain about a sloppy salesperson or a slow waiter or aggravating help lines, but the Internet makes it possible to criticize in a public forum, which increases the string of that criticism exponentially. The web shouldn’t be a tool for cleverness or cruelty at the expense of someone else. Care should be taken.”
Now I understand that in some cases, emotions get the best of us, but time and time again I have also recognized the way that some of our expectations have become unreasonable. I briefly talked about this in a prior blog post, “Have we become spoiled”, but after reading this Editors note, and observing some recent incidents on Twitter and elsewhere, I wanted to revisit the concept.
Take this potential scenario from Twitter:
Customer – I just had the worst experience with Brand X
Brand X – We are sorry to hear that, please email us (help@brand_x.com) and tell us your story.
Customer – I just sent an email to Brand X and received an automatic email saying that they will get back to me in 7-10 days #fail
Customer – So much for Brand X addressing my situation, can’t believe that I have to wait #fail
Is that really a #fail? As a customer, you were able to vocalize your opinion to your network of people. Brand Y actually did engage with you and sent you down a communication path to inform them of your experience.
Somewhere along the road though, you are not satisfied with that. Is it because you have 10,000 followers and believe that you should be treated differently? What about everyone else whose email are waiting in that queue, why do you all of a sudden feel that your complaint should be put above everyone else’s?
If you do right by them, odds are they will do right by you!