Lie: The customer is always right.
Truth: The customer is always the customer.
In Outstanding! we included a chapter titled, Never Forget Who Pays the Bills. The story below is a perfect picture of that fundamental yet powerful—and sometimes still forgotten—principle.
From Matthew, in Dublin, Ohio …
I scheduled an eye appointment with Sears Optical via their online appointment tool for 1:00 pm Saturday. At least, I thought I had.
Saturday arrived and I was looking forward to getting all of my errands done in the morning with my last stop being the eye doc at 1pm. And then, home for a relaxing afternoon of watching a whole lot of college football!
When I arrived at Sears at 12:55pm, however, I learned that I had done something wrong with the online scheduling process and my appointment was actually for 2pm not 1pm.
The receptionist, Sarah, told me that my favorite eye doc—Dr. Stephen Averitt—had just left for lunch. Probably looking none-too-happy and muttering something about wanting to get home to watch football, I told her I’d be back in an hour.
But before I could turn around to leave, Sarah said she’d call Dr. Averitt to have him come right back so I could be on my way!
I, of course, protested (albeit weakly) saying that wasn’t necessary—but she wouldn’t hear of it. She reached him as he was about to grab lunch in the mall food court and, after they chatted briefly, said he’d be back in five minutes.
I was stunned that Dr. Averitt would return to keep me on schedule even though it was completely my fault.
Well, five minutes later, Dr. Averitt and I were in his exam room and, as always, he displayed his normal cheery and pleasant attitude. Not in the least did he seem annoyed or aggravated while he performed his usual thorough exam of my eyes.
John, it isn’t often you come across situations like these. It truly meant a lot to me to experience this type of selfless dedication to the customer. Together, Sarah and the doc provided me excellent service!
I will definitely continue my relationship with Dr. Averitt wherever he is, while always recommending him to anyone looking for an eye doctor.
And, folks, there you have it … being outstanding is just that simple.
Question: In your organization, does every person remember to never forget who pays the bills?
Wait! Maybe this is a better question to pose:
Does everyone in our organization know that our all-too-human and not-always-right customers pay our bills?!?
If not, I’d say some teaching, training, coaching, and learning just might be in order. Begin today! It’s never too soon to be outstanding.