‘The customer comes first’ and ‘The customer is always right’ are some of the most-used sentences you can find to describe how businesses approach their relationship with their customers.
But the interesting question is why they come first and why they’re right. And the answer might be ‘Because I don’t want to lose them’ or ‘Because if I please them, they’ll stay’.
However, on the path to pleasing our customers we don’t see them.
In this narrative of needing to please them (if they are to stay), we start looking into our relationship with our customers as a transaction: we will please them if they stay.
Little by little, ‘customers first’ might become pleasing customers to make them stay, luring customers to stay, or even worse, manipulating customers to stay.
How would it look if we really believed that the customer comes first? How would we treat them, talk to them and interact with them? What is the difference between pleasing your customers and caring about them?
Sometimes values and behavior mean very little if the wrong narrative is behind them.