The Customer Isn’t Always Right

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We in business have all heard the comment  ”The customer is always right.” I’m here to tell you that is not really true. The better way to think about it is that the customer paying for your product or service has the last word … right or wrong!

 

For nearly 20 years I was the “customer” or “client” and I prided myself on being open-minded, acknowledging, when and where appropriate, that I did not have the answer to every question and/or problem. I even admitted that I made mistakes. It was sometimes painful yet always necessary. My goal on making mistakes has always been to bat better than 500. When I do that, I am a winner.

 

As I have gotten a little older, I also have come to realize there are very few things in life that are completely “black or white.” When you are living your life to the fullest, business or professional, you learn very quickly that many shades of gray replace pure “black and white.”  What I have also found is that the better quality managers and business leaders have the self-confidence and maturity to readily admit that life is full of gray areas and they don’t have all the answers. And the true industry icons I know are never shy about admitting that they make mistakes.

 

What makes these people so unique in my mind is that not only are they willing to admit to their mistakes, they are equally quick to compliment those who correct them. These icons want what is best for their company and it stops right there. Being right is nice, but having a successful business is much more rewarding.

 

─ Bill

We’re All in This Together

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I don’t understand it when people in companies treat their suppliers like second-class citizens. Why do they think they need to do that? Don’t these people realize that those suppliers are providing needed goods and services and how those suppliers are treated may very well determine how they treat the company people (clients) in return?

 

I have always felt that those people who are providing goods and services to my company and me are really my business partners, maybe even my friends, and, as such, need to be treated with the respect they deserve. That is the same respect I would want and expect from any or all of them.

 

Come on folks, you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to understand this. God created us as equals and if you think you are something special, there is a very good chance you are the only one who feels that way. There is also a good chance that if you are stuck on yourself, there are some people, even suppliers, who are going to delight in letting you know that you are no more special than they are. And I have to tell you that they, not you, are absolutely right.

 

Pick people more talented than you as your suppliers, treat them like you would treat a good friend, and enjoy the success that follows. It is really pretty simple.

 

− Bill