On 12 Jun 2013, I posted the below comment on the book's Facebook page related to the Dunkin Donuts debacle that went viral and I forgot to posted here. So here it is. If you have not seen the video, not that I watched more than the first minute to reach my conclusion, make sure to watch it by clicking here.
I wrote a book titled “The Customer is NEVER Right” published 25 Oct 2012 (www.thecustomerisneverright.com). I wrote it after being asked to resign from seven jobs due to customer complaints. These anecdotes, like this one at Dunkin Donuts, are not isolated but common, of different extremes but nonetheless the same, and in every industry. However, only the extreme ones, like the one mentioned here, get addressed and why the collateral damage they leave behind goes unnoticed. My point, only when these incidents are consolidated, as I did in the book, is it possible to see the collateral damage of businesses giving customers that kind of power over loyal employees.
Contrary to popular belief, nothing businesses do is for the customer but instead always for the business to increase sales, profits, and product loyalty. The idea that the customer is always right is ludicrous in the sense that no one is ever ALWAYS right in any other aspect of life. So why would the customer always be right. The adage is figuratively, as a marketing platform, and was never intended to be taken literal.
Keep in mind; customer service is nothing more than filler for a product that is inferior to the same product “up the street”. A product able to stand on its own merit, in any industry, requires no bending over by employees to sell or move that product.
On the same note, a business does not open another checkout line for a customer’s benefit but instead to keep the customer from walking out without a purchase. Nor do businesses give you a free purchase simply because you did not get a receipt, not even at Dunkin Donuts. They do so, not for the customer’s gain, but because it is that business’ methodology of keeping their cashier honest. Unknown to the customer, they are being used as big brother to keep the cashier from pocketing the sale as only a receipt confirms the transaction and failure to provide a receipt rewards the customer for pointing it out.
With that said, I am sure some may need an itemized receipt for a 99¢ donut. However, those are few and far between and in that sense the business is not looking out for those customers either. On that note, those looking for a free meal because the cashier, a human without malice intent, forgot to give you a receipt are just as few and far between. However, when they reveal themselves they need to be dismissed and their exaggerated unrealistic emotional expectations not catered to as you suggested.
Why? Because not only would you be reinforcing that inappropriate behavior but more so, that decision to, “get her the heck out of there [and] make her think she’s right, even if she isn’t,” is at the cost of your vetted employees who are left sulking that they did the business wrong. Instead, your employee deserves your alliance and empowerment to JUST “get her the heck out of there”, preferably escorted by police. And so what that she tells twelve of her friends. Because in return of that empowerment your employees would be able to move forward and provide the service many more of your customers appreciate and deserve. My two sense [sic].
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