Editorial Columnist: It’s a cliche, but it’s still correct: ‘Customer is always the boss’
by Jim Davidson
Oct 21, 2013 | 657 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When it comes to doing business in this great country, I love what former President Woodrow Wilson once said, “Business underlies everything in our national life, including our spiritual life. Witness ... that in the Lord’s Prayer, the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love His neighbor on an empty stomach.”

Over the past several decades, our nation has been truly blessed as rapidly expanding technology has enabled both suppliers and consumers to have more quantity, more quality and more selection than any other people in the history of the human race. However, what may not be fully understood by the majority of people in America is that there is a natural “pecking order” that determines the success of a business or an individual.

Here is a good example that will illustrate what I am saying.

Every once in a while I hear something that just floors me. I was talking with a lady the other day who told me about a recent shopping trip to a major department store. She said when she got ready to check out at the register, she was the only one there at the time and two female clerks were engaged in conversation. She went on to say, "I stood there for over a minute and neither clerk offered to check me out. At this point I cleared my throat to let them know I was there. With this, one of the clerks turned to me and said, ‘Would you mind?’ — indicating she would check me out when they finished their conversation.”

More about this in a moment, but first I want to tell you another true story along the same lines, but with a completely different attitude.

There is a lady who used to manage a dress shop here in our community who used a very simple and effective concept to train her new sales people. When the store was empty and the clerks were engaged in busy work, as the front door opened and a potential customer came in, this lady would turn to her clerks and say in a low voice, "Don't look now, but your paycheck just came in the door."

As it relates to both of these examples, there is a lot I could say here, but the bottom line is that the store manager knew who her real boss was while apparently the two sales clerks who were engaged in conversation did not. My friend, I'm here to tell you that regardless of whether you are a manager or an employee, if you don't know and understand who the real "boss" is, you are going to suffer economically for the rest of your life.

While I realize that you may not fit either of these categories, as a customer or consumer, I know you want the very best service and treatment you can receive. In fact, every person deserves this when they spend their hard-earned money.

Here is something I discovered in my files that pretty well says it all, “There never has been, there is not now and there never will be any boss but the customer. He is the one boss you must please. Everything you own, he has paid for. He buys your home, your cars, your clothes, he pays for your vacation and puts your children through school. He pays your doctor bills and writes every paycheck you will ever receive. He will give you every promotion you will ever obtain during your lifetime and he will discharge you if you displease him."

If I may, I would like to amplify these thoughts with something that you may or may not have heard or read before. It's titled, “The Customer.”

It reads, "The customer is the most important person in our business. The customer is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him. The customer is not an interruption of our work, he is the purpose of it. The customer does us a favor when he calls, we do not do him a favor by serving him. The customer is part of our business, not an outsider. The customer is not someone to argue or match wits with. The customer is the person who brings us his wants. It is our job to supply those wants. The customer deserves the most courteous and most attentive treatment we can give him. The customer is the person who makes it possible to pay our salaries. The customer is the lifeblood of this and every other business."

Well, that pretty well says it all. I know one thing for sure. Here at our company we know that as a reader, you are the real boss. If you enjoy and benefit from what I share week after week, would you do something special for me? Please call or write this paper and let them know. Sometimes a good word can make a real difference in whether or not they continue to run my column.

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(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and columnist. He may be contacted at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway AR 72034.)