You Know the Customer’s Not Always Right. Right?

Sometimes they’re dead wrong. What do you do?

In line a while back, at my favorite bagel shop for lunch.

The lady in front of me walked in “with a mad on” as my mother used to say, which a short wait to order did not help. I’m guessing she’d never been there before.

She tried to catch my eye a couple of times for affirmation of her ire. I firmly ignored her eye-rolling and loud sighing, focusing on my chipped toenail-polish. No more open-toed shoes at client meetings until I get a bit pickier about the details. What am I saying with this look?

She had a coupon for a couple of bucks off her meal. The cashier couldn’t get the original price correct, in order to take off the $2. He had to get a manager to figure out the problem. While he was gone, she turned around and tried to stir me up.

I smiled indulgently.

It stopped her.

Have you ever seen someone “with a mad on,” trying to drag you down, at:

  • Grocery store
  • Rush hour
  • Office “watercooler”
  • Your favorite blog
  • Cable company customer service
  • Dinner table
  • Holiday checkout lines…

Have you noticed how just a little poison can ruin the well? If a couple of others get on that mad train, all of a sudden it’s GroupThink. Everybody’s mood goes foul.

You don’t have to take on he mood of the others around you. Buck a trend and spread sunshine instead.

The cashier? He came back, calm and as pleasant as before, fixed the price, and asked her to have a nice day. With a smile, size Large. The way he was trained, the way his mama raised him—he delivered Maximum Customer Experience whether she wanted it or not.


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson

P.S. The day after I wrote this (which yes, was a little while ago), I read a post by Karen Swim confirming that a little customer poison can do quite a bit of damage. Read Customer Responsibility—The Other Side of Service at Words for Hire.

Whether you’re the provider or the customer, you have a hand in the Customer Experience. Karen says, take responsibility for that Experience on both sides.