The Customer is Always Right Must Die: Part II

Death of the customer is always right

It’s time to finally give “The Customer is Always Right” its long overdue dirt nap.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of “The Customer is Always Right (TCIAR)” philosophy. It’s abusive, insane, outdated, annoyingly persistent, and most of all, it’s completely untrue.

There is no doubt in my mind that as you’re reading these words, TCIAR is currently torturing another front line employee with its insanity. What’s worse, is that millions of front line employees all over the globe are likely dealing with a similar fate at their jobs with no end in sight.

This is no longer okay with me. I hope that you feel the same way too.

It doesn’t have to be this way any longer. We can kill TCIAR right here and right now–and make sure that it stays dead.

But in order for that to happen, we need to expose The Customer Is Always Right as the mindlessly idiotic rallying cry that it is. It’s time to roll up our sleeves, people.

As consumers, employees, managers, business owners we have the power to finally end this insanity once and for all. This is where I need your help, but I’ll get to that later.

Some of you might be wondering why I’m so passionate about this topic? The Customer is Always Right has been around forever. Who am I to think that I can do anything to put an end to it once and for all?

Fair question. Here’s my answer:

Because someone has to do it.

This phrase has been the cause of way too much undeserved abuse, and it needs to stop now. Today. This very minute. I’m tired of waiting for it to magically go away on its own, so it’s time to take matters into our own hands.

If you have already read Part 1 of this series, then you were able to see a quick example of the insanity of TCIAR in action. But for me, it goes a little deeper than just one scenario. A lot deeper, actually. I’ve witnessed this phrase hurt many of my friends, family members, coworkers, total strangers, and of course, me too. Keeping it as real as possible–I don’t want this phrase to hurt anyone else ever again. That’s where my passion comes from.

To truly understand what I mean, let’s go back to the beginning.

My First Ever Battle with TCIAR

SholaBK

TCIAR turned my smile upside down

I was 17 years old and working as a cashier at the Burger King near my hometown in Massachusetts. Yes, as you can see, I proudly rocked the extra-medium, polyester BK uniform and only made a little over $5/hour–but in my mind, I was living the American dream. I was paid a wage that I was happy with, I really liked my coworkers, and I sincerely enjoyed my work. Before you laugh, let’s be real for a second–how many people can honestly say that about their current jobs?

Unfortunately, one day something happened that made me willing to give it all up in an instant.

One afternoon, less than 15 minutes into my shift, a balding, doughy-looking man who reminded me of a shorter, chubbier version of Gargamel from the Smurfs (not that his appearance is relevant to this story in any way, but I wanted to help you to get a full image of this situation) walked up to the counter and ordered a Whopper with extra pickles and no ketchup.

As I type this right now, it is absolutely crazy to me that even though this happened almost 20 years ago, I still can remember what this guy looked like, his Whopper order, and how he painstakingly stressed extra pickles and no ketchup like he was a brain surgeon giving operating instructions to a recent nursing school grad.

I pleasantly took his order, and no more than 5 minutes later I handed the man his piping hot Whopper and then he happily sat down. No big deal, right?

Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

Almost immediately after he sat down, this man who was probably 3 times my age—but half my size—made a beeline for the counter and threw the unwrapped Whopper at me and hit me square in the chest with it before it fell on the counter in front of me.

“I said EXTRA PICKLES moron! There’s only 5 pickles on this damn Whopper! I demand my money back and I want my Whopper made correctly, NOW!”

I know that this is about 20 years too late, but if there are any Burger King employees reading this, is there a set amount of pickles that qualifies as extra pickles? If so, I’d love to know. Thanks in advance.

Thinking back on it now, I must have that lived a fairly charmed life to that point, because that was the first time that I can remember ever being screamed at by someone that I didn’t know. I was scared. I was humiliated. I was angry. I wanted to cry. I wanted to knock his ass out. I wanted someone to stand up for me.

As a 17 year old kid, I turned to my boss Julie (not her real name), who witnessed the whole interaction, to step up to the plate for me.

Julie, who I only remember for consistently butchering my name and for such managerial pearls of wisdom like, “if you have time to lean, then you have time to clean,” so I probably should have predicted what was likely coming next.

“Shilo, please go to the back and tell them to special order a Whopper with extra pickles and no ketchup for this gentleman, ok?”

“Wait…what?! Gentleman?? Are you kidding me?! He threw his Whopper at me! You seriously want to give him a free…”

While simultaneously smiling at the customer and gritting her teeth at my defiance, Julie sternly said, “SHILO! The customer is always right! Go get the man his Whopper now, ok?”

“My name is Shola, damn it! Sholaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!”

For those of you wondering, yes I did get his Whopper with extra pickles. No, I didn’t spit in it, add some of my personal “special sauce,” or wipe down the urinal with his Whopper before giving it to him.

Besides the fact that all of the above acts are sick, twisted, disgusting, and illegal–I just don’t believe in that type of stupidity, and I never have.

How would that make me any better than that asshat if I did those things? That’s amateur hour stuff.

I’m interested in real victories, like breaking the cycle of this type of behavior forever–not some meaningless pseudo-victory that could potentially land my ass in jail if someone found out. Even at 17 years old, I knew that. If that’s your idea of balancing the karmic scale, then you’re an idiot and you need to grow up. Seriously.

So, what did I do instead?

I just wiped the pickles and mayonnaise off of my “smedium” polyester uniform, gave him his Whopper (which he promptly snatched out of my hand, while again insulting my intelligence), and then I waited patiently for my shift to end.

And then I quit.

The Silence of Our Friends

As I walked 2 miles back to my house smelling like mayonnaise and pickle juice, the tears flowed freely. My mind raced.

How could that man treat me like that? Why didn’t Julie stand up for me when she saw everything that happened? Why was that man rewarded for his horrible behavior?

These thoughts tormented me as I walked home, but no thought tormented me more than this one: how will I be able to survive in the working world where the customer is always right?

Fast forward 20 years later, and now I was watching another young cashier getting blindsided by TCIAR (Author’s note: this was detailed in Part 1 of this series). Even though on the surface we appeared to be two completely different people, on that night, we were exactly the same. I didn’t just understand his pain, I felt it too.

As a former front line employee in many different industries such as retail, food service, and as a call center representative, I’ve seen many forms of the ugliness of TCIAR in the past 20 years.

I know what it’s like to feel hopelessly demoralized by TCIAR. I know what it’s like to feel sub-human, based solely on what I chose to do as a profession. I sincerely wanted to help the department store cashier in Part 1. I truly did. But what could I say?

Should I have told him that he’ll eventually get used to the idea that the customer is always right? He won’t.

Should I have told him that he has the power to single-handedly rid his store of the abusive “customer is always right” mentality? He doesn’t.

So instead of offering assistance to this young man, instead of putting the screaming lady in check after she smugly waved her new gift card in the air on her way out the store, instead of asking the manager why he rewarded the screaming lady’s hideous behavior–what did I do?

Like a coward, I hopped in my car and drove home.

Simply put, I did nothing.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

It was on that drive home when I pitifully realized that for much of the past 20 years when I’ve witnessed TCIAR or any other form of abuse, I’ve consistently been silent.

That realization shook me to my core. My silence in the presence of abuse will never happen again.

Three Reasons why The Customer is Always Right will Always Fail

Ever since my less-than-pleasant first introduction with TCIAR at Burger King, I needed to understand why such an incredibly stupid idea could have so much staying power. Especially since I have never noticed anything positive result from the consistent use of it.

Speaking of which, I think now is as good of a time as any to address the worst argument in defense of TCIAR. Here it is:

“The customer is always right isn’t meant to be taken literally.”

What does that mean exactly? If it’s not supposed to be taken literally, how in the world would you explain the Customer is Always Right philosophy to your employees?

Manager addressing his/her employees: “Just so you all know, our store/company believes strongly in the customer is always right. Keep in mind that it’s not meant to be taken literally though. There are times when the customer is always right is wrong, but in that case, you need to make the ‘wrong’ customer believe that he’s always right, ok?”

Huh?

If it’s not meant to be taken literally, then why even say it at all?

Either way, this isn’t even the real problem. The much scarier problem are the customers and the companies who actually take The Customer is Always Right very literally. This is what we need to be worried about.

On the surface, it may seem that making your customers feel like they’re always right is a fantastic way to make your customers happy and more willing to spend money with your company. Except that it’s not. It may work sporadically, but in the long run, it will fail. Here are three painfully obvious reasons why:

1. TCIAR turns your front line into a warzone between customers and employees.

Seriously, isn’t this obvious?

When companies proudly state that The Customer is Always Right, what they’re actually saying is that they’re giving 100% of the power to the customers and 0% to the employees who are hired to assist them. This is not a good thing.

When there’s a dispute/issue/problem of any kind involving a customer, how do you think it will end? We already know who’s always right, so guess who’s always wrong regardless of the circumstances? Believe me, employees will resent this deeply and it will eventually create an “us vs. them” culture where no one wins.

Since the beginning of time, whenever the scale of power is tipped completely in the favor one specific group, it’s only a matter of time before those who are not in power allow their resentment to build up to the point where they feel compelled to act out.

It could be something as mild as an employee intentionally offering crappy customer service, all the way to an extreme act such as an employee spitting in a customer’s food. Obviously, no one is excusing this kind of stupidity, but you would have to be very naive to think that a powerless employee wouldn’t do something in hopes of gaining just a little bit of power back from a customer–whether that power is real or imagined.

If you are a manager, business owner, or C-Level executive who believes in TCIAR, you should be scared as hell of the two preceding paragraphs. If not, re-read them until you fully understand the negative impact TCIAR can have on your company’s image and financial bottom line as long as you continue to believe in its infinite silliness.

2. Nice customers actually get second class treatment.

Not that you didn’t already know this, but every company has many epic customers who are not only very willing to spend money, but (gasp) they’re also really nice too! They happily shop at your store without any drama, they say “please” and “thank you” when they reach your call center, and they still can muster up a smile and offer you compliments even though they’re horribly sick and laid up in the hospital.

Now here’s where it gets crazy.

Instead of treating these men and women like gold, many companies who believe in TCIAR feel that it’s a higher priority to retain the manipulators, the constantly dissatisfied, the liars, the serial refunders, the verbally abusive, the rude, and the completely unreasonable customers instead.

TCIAR-believing companies actually act like it’s a waste of time to focus on the exceptional 90% of their customer pool. They’re not complaining, so they must be happy, right? Instead, it’s all about oiling the squeaky wheels. Seriously, does it make sense to keep the guy who just called the cashier the N-word because the coffee shop discontinued his favorite coffee blend? Is that who you want to keep as a loyal customer?

Pure insanity.

Who would you rather keep around: the occasional abusive customer who you’ll probably (and hopefully) never see again, or the person who arrives on your front line everyday to faithfully support your company’s mission?

The choice is yours. Make the right one.

3. Your good people will leave.

Unfortunately, many companies reading this may think, “so what if they leave? I can replace any of these dime-a-dozen front line fools in a heartbeat.”

Treating your front line staff like a piece of gum that you can spit out once it loses its flavor also isn’t a very good idea. From a business perspective, it’s actually a terrible idea. It might seem expensive to replace a customer, but it’s not nearly as expensive as it is to replace an employee–especially if that employee is good.

Instead of mentoring and supervising the front line staff, managers now have to spend a large portion of their time dealing with employee turnover, training new staff, and dealing with the numerous issues related to dealing with a short-staffed team. Please believe that it costs much more than time to do this, it costs money too.

That’s only half of the problem though.

Not only will your good employees leave (and why wouldn’t they?), but your good customers will eventually leave too.

If TCIAR is slowly turning your front line staff into a gang of mindless, bitter, powerless, indentured servants who hate their jobs, their customers, and their company–what are the odds that any of your customers (good or bad) are going to receive decent customer service from them? What are the odds that your best customers will continue to choose to stick around when they could just as easily shop at a store with better service?

Very slim, if any.

And do you know what’s worse for your company than having bitter, powerless employees serving as the face of your company?

Yeah, me neither.

The Death of the Customer is Always Right

There’s no doubt in my mind that we can end the madness. Please notice the “we” part. This can’t done by little ol’ me alone. I need you. Anyone who desperately wants The Customer is Always Right to stay dead forever needs you.

If you are a customer, you can choose to spend your money with companies who choose to support their employees. If you’re unsure, just ask a few front line employees–they’ll tell it to you straight.

If you are an employee, you can choose to never spend a minute working for a company that believes that the customer is always right.

If you are a manager or supervisor, you can demand excellence from your employees while empowering them to never accept customer abuse in any form.

If you are a C-Level executive, you can take the courageous step of changing your company’s culture from the archaic TCIAR to a modern philosophy that ensures that both employees and customers are treated with respect at all times.

No matter where you fall, you have a role to play in this. Next time you see a customer abusing an employee, don’t turn your head, pretend that you didn’t see anything, and drive home like I did.

Say something.

Do something.

The more of us who are willing to take positive action, the sooner that TCIAR disappears from the face of the earth for good.

Fair warning: that blank headstone at the beginning of this post could end up being engraved with your company’s name on it if your company foolishly parrots the customer is always right as its rallying cry.

The good news is that this headstone is already reserved for TCIAR. Its long overdue death is now complete. Good riddance.

R.I.P. The Customer is Always Right. You will not be missed.

Shola

Shola

Founder of The Positivity Solution
Author, keynote speaker, and kindness extremist who is committed to changing the world by helping as many people as possible to live and work with more positivity.
Shola
Shola

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Comments

  1. Thank you Shola! I want you to know that your posts are making a difference. For awhile there I was beginning to feel like I was the only one who hated the customer is always right mentality, but I’m glad to know that I’m not alone. Please keep doing what you do, I absolutely love your blog.

    • Hi Susan, you are so welcome! If anything, I should be thanking you for saying such kind words about me and my blog. Trust me, you are not alone in your hatred of TCIAR–in fact, I hope that this 3-part series will help other front line employees to realize that there are many others who are fed up with the TCIAR mentality too. We’re all in this together!

      I’m so happy that you like the blog, and I promise to keep doing what I do! 🙂

  2. I am always so invigorated when I read your posts. I have worked in both retail, fast food and of late, call centers. I must admit, I do not recall where I have ever been the red flag in front of the TCIAR bull. I have truly been fortunate in that regards. I have only ever wanted to help people, ever since I was a little girl. And I think that truly comes across to people who are upset and feel wronged in some way. It can be very easy to change someone’s tune if they can genuinely grasp at the idea that we are people too. I agree with you wholeheartedly that employers need to invest more in mentoring and supervising the front line, rather than having to rebuild it due to high turn-over rates. It is a very unfortunate method of upper management abuse when they tell you (with a mildly serene attitude), “On the one hand your work and contribution to the company is appreciated, but on the other hand you are completely and utterly replaceable and please don’t forget that.” It is a way to keep employees on edge and fearful of losing their jobs. Who wants to come into work everyday in fear? I certainly don’t. Hopefully, this will spark a revolution among the front line to stand up for themselves and if their bosses do not take a stand for the employees, each and every one of us needs to be asking them why they didn’t. Surely they would not want their mother or father, son or daughter treated like that. So then why let a consumer do it to an employee who dedicates their time to you and your company? Enlightenment that everyone needs to be thinking about…

    • Hey Alyxandra! Thanks for your awesome comment and for the very kind words as well–both are greatly appreciated! Yes, employers must spend more time investing in their front lines. If they want to stay relevant and competitive, this is an absolute must. However, like you said, if the employer’s message to their front lines is “you are valued and your contribution is appreciated” but their actions say “you’re a dime-a-dozen and I can replace you in a heartbeat”, then most front line employees will likely believe that the employer’s actions (not their words) are much closer to how they truly feel about them.

      Honestly Alyx, I’m hoping that this sparks a revolution too. It’s time that work becomes more meaningful and enjoyable for everyone–especially, front line employees. After all, they’re the ones who are responsible for keeping the lights on at every business that exists in the world, right? Please keep spreading the word and being the change, because that’s the only way that we can make the revolution a reality. Thanks again for your comment!

  3. Shola – Finally someone is standing up against the rule that, even though right sometimes, hurts employees and owners of small businesses in many ways. I am always for treating the customers right and doing everything you can to make them happy many customers take undue advantage of this generosity and keep demanding more. I wrote a similar article on this topic and thought you might like it. Would love to hear your view on it – http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2010/08/25/is-customer-always-right-i-dont-think-so/

    • Hey Harry, we definitely share the exact same viewpoint on this issue, that’s for sure. Just like you, I’m all for treating customers with respect, kindness, and dignity–my entire professional career is based on doing that. But it’s time that someone stood up against the TCIAR philosophy that hurts employees, small business owners, and front line folks all over the world. Rewarding bad behavior is the purest form of insanity, and it’s equally as crazy to me that so many businesses are unable (or unwilling) to realize that.

      By the way, your article is fantastic! I just visited your site and left a comment–thanks for directing me to it. Also, thank you so much for fighting the good fight against TCIAR, we need you, my man. I hope that you stick around Harry!

  4. Thank you, Shola, for this wonderful article, it is very well written, thought provoking and needs to be required reading for anyone in retail management. But what truly distresses me is that it needed to be written at all! At the risk of sounding like a geezer, “back in my day,” people simply did not treat other people the way you and so many others have described. When did it become acceptable behavior to be abusive and to assault people (yes, throwing a hamburger at someone IS assault!) to either get something for nothing, or simply because you perceive their station in life to be lower than yours? What triggered this profound deterioration of human behavior? I can’t help but wonder if it is directly correlated to the drop in the number of people who attend religious services each week. Back when the majority of Americans attended church regularly, people simply did not behave in this manner – even people who did not attend church – there was societal pressure to be polite and well mannered, at least in public. Say what you will about the flaws of religious groups and individuals, when people had a reason not to behave this way, far fewer of them did, whether from “What would Jesus do?” or “You’re going to hell if you do that!” True, society was far from utopia, and there was much about our religious practices that needed to be revamped, but I fear we may have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

    • Hi Azab, thank you for your very thoughtful comment! I wish that this post could be required reading for all retail managers, because I know that my former retail managers were true believers in the idea that the customer is always right.

      You know, I’m not sure what has caused our society to take a turn to the rude side, but it is definitely something that I have given quite a bit of thought. I don’t know if church is the answer or not (because there are a lot of church going folk who are horrifically rude to others–I actually know of a few), I think that the answer may begin at home. I was raised to believe that no one is better than another person. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete, a bagger at the supermarket, the Queen of England, or a street sweeper–I was brought up to believe everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, no matter what. The thought of treating someone with disrespect because you believe that their station in life is lower than yours, is the worst kind of ignorance, in my opinion. Simply put, people who think like that are not making the world a better place.

      We have some serious work to do Azab to make this world a more caring place for front line employees (for everyone, really) and I hope that you’re up for the challenge with me. Thanks for reading!

  5. Would love to see this on a major news station! Its the most amazing thing I’ve read in a long time! If i ever see anyone being mistreated again, im going to say something!!

    • Hey Karla! You are so sweet, thank you so much for the amazing compliment! I’ve made a pledge to no longer be silent when seeing a front line employee getting mistreated, and I’m happy to hear that you’re onboard too. Let’s make it happen!

  6. Shola,

    Thank you for this excellent EXCELLENT dissection of a culture of abuse. I’ve always been (as you put it) one of the 90%, because my earliest experience of working was at McDonalds, and yeah… I had the equivalent of a Julie to work for, who used the ubiquitous “if you’re leaning, you should be cleaning” on me, after I had just spent 6 hours cleaning the eating area, including breakfast syrup containers, sticky floors, and emptying the gnarliest trashcans imaginable… and then both the bathrooms. For a 16-yr-old girl, that was the equivalent to Boot Camp… and according to Marvin, my version of Julie… I was a lowly plebe.

    Anyway, so I recognize the abuse from customers you described. When I finally made it to cashier, after several weeks of cleaning and felt like I had finally arrived…only then did I realize that my perpetual sunshine, and the sheltered life I had led up to that point, would be put to the test. Sure, there were MANY nice customers, and even in the assembly-line manner of serving at McDonalds, I met lots of nice repeat customers. But there were some standout arse-holes who could not be pleased, no matter what… and those people could expertly abuse and bring mayhem to the restaurant… but Marvin would allow every bit of it, in order to assure that no customer ever left dissatisfied, or complained about managment…no matter how many thrown burgers, or whether a valuable front-liner quit as a result. He was on a mission from Corporate.

    So I’ll take your challenge! I’ll definitely start asking more employees at my usual restaurants and retail establishments…How are you treated by management? Do they back you up, or do they throw you under the bus? And I’ll start culling out the worst. That’s the only way to create a new culture for the 90%, and for the beleaguered front-line… a culture of kindness.

    • Hey Amy! Thank you so much for your absolutely brilliant comment! There is definitely a culture of abuse in many workplaces–especially in the retail and food service industry. Now is the time to declare that dealing with unacceptable behavior from customers (or anyone, really) is more of an urgent matter than Marvin & Julie’s out-of-touch missions from the Corporate office. Turning a blind eye to all forms of customer horrificness in the name of satisfying customers at all costs is absolute insanity to me. It must be equally as important to attract the right customers as it is to drive the wrong customers away. Just like you, most of my customers were fantastic, but for some reason the ones who cursed at me, threw things at me, and mumbled racist comments under their breath are the ones who I remember the most. Actually, scratch that–who I remember most are the managers who witnessed all of those things and did nothing.

      I’m so happy that you’re up for the challenge, because we need to stand up for the front-line and a create a culture of kindness, starting today. Thanks so much for reading Amy!

  7. I just sent both parts of this to my husband–he works for a “family friendly” company (BS) who believes TCIAW.

    My husband hates his job. We as his family hate his job because we’ve seen what’s it’s done to him in the 18 mos he’s worked there.

    YES we are grateful he has a job (he got laid off after 19 yrs, and my son and I both have health issues…that was scary). But his hair has gone white in a matter of months, and he is just not pleasant at home.

    Oh how I could go on about the insanity of this company.

    In any case, I know my husband will benefit from your incredibly thoughtful posts.

    And I will always try to be an epic customer (it does have its perks!!)

    • Hey Crafty Angel! Thanks for forwarding the posts to your husband, it is greatly appreciated. I feel absolutely terrible that he is stuck working for a company that believes in the insanity of TCIAR. In my opinion, it is one of the most abusive ideologies in the business world today. In addition to sending this to your husband, I think that the person who really needs to read this is his boss ;). Best of luck to you and your husband, and thanks for being part of the change by being an epic customer!

  8. Very insightful. Now I realize why I have felt so panicky and anxious all these years working in customer service. Now I know why I feel so bitter and resentful. I have been out of that position for two years and seriously still feel angry and abused. After reading this piece and a couple others I feel smarter and better prepared for any responses. If I ever see this type of behavior again I know I will step in!

    • Right on, Jessica! The insanity of TCIAR is something that needs to stop exactly for the reason that you just described. The feelings of abuse, bitterness, and resentment can stick with us for years–if not longer. I’m so glad to hear that you’re willing to step in next time you see that kind of behavior–I’ll be right there with you, my friend!

  9. Shola, please forgive me for commenting on a nearly three-year-old blog. I’ve been in customer service for ten years and I am done with this TCIAR BS!!!! My company is really big on TCIAR, especially if it’s one of those high-power, big-name clients who personally know the CEO, COO or any other high-ranking executive. I dread getting up every morning to deal with customers who won’t READ their contracts, but they expect a freebie because they threatened a lawsuit or complained to the state board. It chafes my behind every time I have to drag myself out the bed just to come to work and hear this BS. I was going to go into marketing, but after kissing and licking booty for all these years, I am changing careers. I will not have my self-respect compromised. I cannot continue to wake up each morning in a state of anxiety. Enough is enough. This post was real and relevant. Things must change. The companies need to care about their employees. Stop offering that cookie-cutter, hip-pocket customer service training. Make it your CS reps that they cannot and will not tolerate abuse. Tell these managers that they need to grow a pair, get some bass in that voice and show those customers the door when they mistreat the CS reps. Stop the abuse already.

  10. I was recently the victim of TCIAR.
    I am a wedding planner, and although crazy comes with the territory one girl in particular took it to a whole other level. Everything was beautiful that day, the weather, her decorations, everything…couldn’t have been a better day for a wedding! When she came into the venue after saying I do she completely lost her shit…about what, well to this day I still don’t know what set he off, but she started screaming at me in front of her 200 guests and my 17 person staff. I was unbelievably humiliated, but I held it together and said as cobdensly nice as possible “I’m sorry you feel that way, I hope the rest of your eveing is enjoyable” I was not going to now down and let her scream at me like that…I then walked directly to the back and lost it…tears pouring down my face. I have never in all my years of customer service been treated the way this girl treated me. I am exceptionally good at what I do, I take a lot of pride in helping to create memories for all my couples and for her to berate and belittle me over who knows what was painful. She continued to treat me like shit the rest of the evening and at the end of the night she said “I want you to know you ruined my wedding day. There’s no amount of money you could give me back that would make this better.” so I said “Well I apologize that you feel that way,i thought it was a beautiful day, oh and we don’t give refunds, it’s inn your contract. Good luck on your marriage.” and I walked away. And again the tears fell I don’t understand how anyone can be so cold.

  11. Julianne Magan says:

    I can’t believe I lost it with a customer. After this customer cursed at me for awhile I completely became unhinged and went at her with the same disrespect she was treating me. I couldn’t hold back the things she said to me were hurtful and unnecessary. It all started from a request to get a bag which the store has policies against giving extra bags. And what did I get for reinforcing their policies zilch. The customer got a giftcard for degrading me and making me feel worthless. I called out the following day. Still hurting for the things the customer said to me and for my reaction.

  12. I have been inpatient and admit to losing my cool at times with customer service representatives. I have also seen some of the worst behaviors by customers in one of the the Northeast most affluent suburbs. I come from a long line of sales professionals, I have been in sales for many years and it is brutal. I have been yelled at, called fat, ugly and stupid by my customers. I have also had the opportunity to grow and learn from customers, counterparts, managers and teachers on how to move forward and develop a thick skin. Sales is hard, it takes a special type of personality to be able to deal with the various personality types one may encounter. I would remind myself during difficult interactions to “take myself out of the frame and look at the whole picture.” I learned the importance of remembering someones name, to look someone in the eye and most of all to remain present and be thankful. I support businesses that give the underdog an opportunity, the businesses that hire those with special needs to give them a sense of self worth.

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