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Simon Sinek: Actually, the Customer Is Not Always Right

This will be music to the ears of anyone who’s ever worked in customer service. Is this old managerial adage doing companies more harm than good? Simon Sinek’s latest book is “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” (https://goo.gl/IUeJuD).

Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/simon-sinek-on-why-the-customer-is-not-always-right

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Transcript – I think it’s funny when we are given advice to always put the customer first. That means employees come second inherently if you’re going to put customer first. Customers come and go. Obviously we want to work to keep them loyal but its employees who spend more time at work than they do with their families. It’s employees who are asking to give their blood and sweat and tears to advance our vision. And so it’s a leader’s responsibility to take care of the people first and the people will take care of each other and the customer. Any leader who prioritizes a customer literally saying I care more about an external constituency than I do about the people who are actually working here. The funny thing is a company like Southwest Airlines, a company like Costco that are renowned for their customer service as matters of policy do not believe the customer is always right. They do not believe that the customer comes first. The irony is is these great customer service companies actually care first about their own people, their employees and they expect their employees to care about their customers.

Let me tell you a story, a true story. Some months ago I stayed at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas. It is a wonderful hotel and the reason it’s a wonderful hotel is not because of the fancy beds. Any hotel can buy a fancy bed. It’s because of the people who work there. Now when you walk the halls of the Four Seasons and someone says hello to you, you really get the sense that they wanted to say hello, not that they were told to say hello. So in the lobby of the Four Seasons they have a coffee bar and one afternoon I went to buy a cup of coffee and I happened to be served by a barista named Noah. Noah was wonderful. He was fantastic. He was friendly. He was funny. He was engaging. I think I ended up giving a 100 percent tip. And so as is my way I asked Noah do you like your job here? And Noah said I love my job here. So I followed up and said what is it that the Four Seasons is doing that would make you say to me I love my job? And without skipping a beat he said throughout the day managers will walk past me and ask me how I’m doing. Read Full Transcript Here: https://goo.gl/nFuHC8.

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