You do know what I am referring to. Well, the tagline seems to be a way to truly ridicule United Airlines this week.
As you know, Susan and I have taught customer service excellence for years, and it just seems to be a new low point…
Even if the customer is not always right, you treat the customer as if they have rights … even if they don’t.
The phrase “The customer is always right” was coined in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London, and is typically used by businesses to convince customers that they will get good service at this company and convince employees to give customers good service. The recent United Airlines overbooking incident seems to have grown out of proportion. We all know painfully well how airlines overbook and the consequent opportunities and threats these produce. If you are flexible, you may profit. If you are not, you could be in real trouble if they selected you as they did in this case.
In the court of public opinion, the answer seems clear:
You may be within your rights, but you may not be on the right side of the issue.
Employers are learning a sad lesson in hiring … the way they treat prospects who they then don’t hire has a big impact on their brand.
We live in a complex world with social media connecting people in ways we never imagined.
The court of public opinion seems to still conclude that the customer remains always right.