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The Customer Is Right - No, Not Always

by Mary Emma Allen on September 29th, 2008


“Be polite and smile, girls,” my mom would caution my sister and me when we complained about a customer at her small country grocery store.  “Remember, the customer is always right.”

So we took heed, smiled and kept our voices calm.  Occasionally we bit our tongues…or at least it seemed so.

However, sometimes the customer isn’t always right and you have to make a decision…are the complaints justified?  Do you want this customer or don’t you?  Is there a diplomatic way to handle this?

Hope Clark wrote a thought provoking editorial, Watch That Knee Jerk for her Funds for Writers Small Markets

As a supplier of a product (stories), you have customers in the form of
readers. Any business columnist will tell you to listen to your customer, and as writers trying to make a buck, we are business people.

Problem is, which customers do you listen to?

Hope then discusses which customers you should listen to and how to determine if their complaints (and their praise) are valid.  This really made me consider that Mother’s advice, while generally true, must on occasion be adjusted to the situation.  Hope advises us to be confident and savvy.

Which customers to you listen to? 

(Amazon image)

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

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POSTED IN: Customer Service

1 opinion for The Customer Is Right - No, Not Always

  • Hope Clark
    Sep 30, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Thanks, Mary Emma. Yes, we can’t always reply as the customer wants. We’d be forever jumping through hoops, and, in the end, ultimately damaging the messages/service to all by shortchanging and constantly moving the target. Appreciate the mention in your blog.


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