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The Customer Is NOT Always Right

Here’s another Win-Win nugget for you to consider.

The old saying about “the customer is always right” might be a noble cliché, but it’s bad business.

Herb Kelleher, the famous founding CEO of Southwest Airlines once told my bank board a story. One day in Dallas a big storm had goofed up all the flights. People were angry. One customer became irate. He yelled and cursed at the ticket agents.

He was obviously drunk and getting drunker by the minute. Finally, the time had come to board a plane. When the agents called for boarding, this drunk ran to the front of the line to be met by security guards who hauled him away.

He was even angrier. But….. 134 other customers clapped and cheered knowing that clown was NOT going to be on their plane.

Now who was right?

You have to make choices about ways to make your business run well, be effective, deliver good products and services, and make a profit.

You cannot always make people happy. Some folks are just bad people. They are mean-spirited and hostile, regardless of what you do for them.

Spending time to make them happy can cost you time, energy, and money.

The same is true for employees you hire who turn out to be bad fits. I’ve known lots of business owners who bend over backwards to keep an employee engaged when they should be shown the door.

People can fake an interview, wow you with the jargon of the business/industry, but be very bad hires for your team. As soon as you discover the truth, you need to act.

Much like the gate agent at Southwest did with the drunk, unruly traveler, you need to do with the bad actors in your situation.

Get them out of the area. Swiftly and firmly. ACT!

If you’d like to talk more about ways to streamline your business and trim the deadwood, schedule a chat with me. We can explore my Silver Bullet ideas to help your business be the joy you want it to be.

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