So I had to use NAWF (Never Argue With a Fundamentalist) today. I know Fundamentalist usually has a religious meaning, but in NAWF it stands for anyone with the same fundamentalist mind set. My brother in law does a really good job defining the principle in his post I’m linking here. Anyway, I’m not here to discuss the prinicple of NAWF, I’m just here to sort of vent (because I’m not really angry so much as irritated.)
So last night on facebook a status was made concerning customer service and one event in particular last night. I was just making a half joking comment on said status something to the extent of rewarding an irrational customer is essentially rewarding stupidity. However, said comment spurred a discussion on customer service, mainly the customer is always right principle. I totally see the purpose of the customer is always right. I know I work in a customer service based job, and I am okay with that. Most of the customers that I come across are sane, rational people. Every now and then I do get a customer that has irrational demands, and because it is my job, I too “reward stupidity”.
Do I believe there are other options besides the customer is always right policy? Yes, I do. I ended up linking an article about siding with employees when there is an irrational customer. Now while I have taken some ideas from this, I also don’t fully agree with it either. I think it’s more of a judgment call. Sometimes employees make mistakes and can be just as irrational as customers. I don’t think the customer is always right, but I also don’t think the employee is either.
Another idea that was brought up is the relationship between customer service and the customer is always right. The customer is always right principle does fall under customer service. But I think there is more to customer service than the customer always being right. I know a lot of people (and pretty much everyone involved in the argument) believe they are the same thing. However, there are companies, like Southwest Airlines in the above link, that still have customer service without the customer is always right policy. I know for most jobs out there (including my own and my previous job) that customer service is considered to be 100% the customer is always right. I think that mind set causes problems of its own, mainly the fact that it won’t change because it is so ingrained in people’s minds. I know it is not my place to say these opinions at work, and I will never act on them at my job (because I do like my job), but I do have opinions.
That being said I know it is not up to me to decide any of this where I work. I do have an opinion, but I’m going to go with company policy and continue to put the customer first. I just wanted to say, I am finished with said argument. Those are my ideas, which are only my ideas, take what you want from them. I was not meaning any of my comments to be a personal attack on anyone else because I don’t think personally attacking someone in an argument furthers the discussion. With this post I just wanted to state my ideas and apologize to anyone if they thought I was personally attacking them. This is also going to be the last input I have into the subject, I will discuss it no further because my head is already bleeding from hitting against that brick wall (figurativly).