#MondayMotivation: Doing Customer Service Right Isn’t That Complicated

Looking for a little #MondayMotivation? We’re pulling out past stories that are still just as relevant today. Here’s a pearl from Jim: United Got the Wrong Answer Because They Were Asking the Wrong Question.

Do you agree with the maxim “the customer is always right”?

It’s the cornerstone of the American customer service philosophy, and American customer service is pretty darn good by global standards. Not the best, but pretty good.

But I don’t agree with that maxim for two reasons: It’s not true (which makes it bullshit), and it’s not important (which makes it unhelpful).

It’s not true because … well, you know it’s not true. Sometimes the customer is abusive or wildly unrealistic or drunk or a bigot. I’ve seen all that and more. Telling people to grit their teeth and say the customer is “right” is a brain-dead approach to delivering good service.

It’s not important because it presupposes an argument, a debate between an organization and a customer. How did that happen? And if it does happen (it can), why are you focused on who’s going to win?

Remember that if the customer is right, somebody has to be wrong, and that somebody is the person delivering the service. If that person is a member of your team, your policy just made them wrong, and that whole way of thinking is pointless. And it will cost you.

Which brings me to United Airlines and this week’s farcical removal of a passenger with the misfortune of being on a United Airlines flight. …

Check out the rest of Jim’s post: United Got the Wrong Answer Because They Were Asking the Wrong Question.

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