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18 July 2006 @ 10:59 am

The Top 5 Reasons why "The Customer is Always Right" is WRONG!

This is an interesting article for you Fedex-ians out there...

"Let me get this straight: the company will side with petulant, unreasonable, angry, demanding customers instead of me, its loyal employee? --and this is meant to lead to better customer service"

I advise all you out there to print a copy of this article and post it in your break rooms! Maybe Branch Managers out there will finally take the purple promise to heart and listen to the words of wisdom in this article. It just may lead to better MSM scores.. (gasp!)
NeonKnight69neonknight69 on July 18th, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
What an interesting concept, and one that we used to follow in the old days. My old regional manager used to his managers that the coworkers have a hard enough job as it is, they don't need to be abused by jackass customers. I still refuse to let my fellow team members be abused, and if that gets me fired, so be it.
Charlie: Pacmancharlief on July 18th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC)
yet I don't think you'd be fired. There's an employee shortage already. I think at best you may be given a verbal/written up. God forbid you do the right thing! :)
bdrex on July 21st, 2006 07:08 am (UTC)
Turnover status?
On the last propaganda report for ken, I belive he stated that turnover was down from 40 to 20 percent, and he was quite proud of his "achievement" but maybe I read it wrong but turnover was also down 2.9 percent from same time last year? If I read it right it's pured fascist propaganda spawned from the brain of hitler kept alive in a jar by the hate of the devil. Let me know if i'm right at my old company our reports were marked differantly and it would have been called "comp" turnover.
337common_as_stone on July 18th, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC)
center managers especially ought to read this...
(Anonymous) on July 18th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)
Not to blanketly defend all center managers, but some have been verbally instructed (and even tought in LDP1) to give the angry customer what they want, no matter what.

For this reason, I will not be pursuing the Center Manager job position.
NeonKnight69neonknight69 on July 19th, 2006 01:10 am (UTC)
I'm sure they have been, the attitude comes from the top on down. The company is teaching the customers, want a big discount, throw a fit, behave poorly, and you'll get it.
ah satan: scrunchyfacehellobutterfly on July 19th, 2006 01:46 am (UTC)
It's called "customer service" and it only exists in America (to this extent). It makes me sick really, how we encourage adults to act like babies so they can get what they want and not be held accountable for their actions.
Charlie: fuck you!charlief on July 19th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
Nothing like letting customers become spoiled brats and pout to get what you want.
Jenispkn4_4ever on July 19th, 2006 06:15 am (UTC)
The CM's in my cluster all follow this philosophy, for the most part. We have fired our fair share of customers...
337common_as_stone on July 19th, 2006 10:07 am (UTC)
i've had a couple of great CM's that do this too (and those stores rocked!). the problem is that it's not encouraged on the whole, and the majority of the CM's in this company do Not behave as such because they think the costs outweigh the benefits. this is unfortunately a very short-sighted view, but with no opposition from above they have no reason to change.
mobileweaponsmobileweapons on July 19th, 2006 07:29 am (UTC)
MSM is invincible
"The customer comes second" can't work in the company as it is right now. The MSM grading is so completely insane that a customer complaint like the ones described in the article will lower MSM scores no matter what the circumstance. That directly effects the massive bonuses that center managers get. In my region, when an employee is mentioned in a customer complaint, he/she has to apologize to all 11 center managers in a conference call whether they were wrong or wronged. I know that this has occurred at least twice. Without severe revisions to MSM grading, things are going to get worse.

Word on the street is that Ken May is stopping by the store on Thursday. It's audit alert red.I think we are going to have to start to QC our shit and put a yellow sticker on it before it gets flushed. I better make sure to wear a Navy Blue undershirt or it's the end of the world.
337common_as_stone on July 19th, 2006 10:11 am (UTC)
Re: MSM is invincible
"In my region, when an employee is mentioned in a customer complaint, he/she has to apologize to all 11 center managers in a conference call whether they were wrong or wronged."

that is ridiculous. where'd these people learn to manage? McDonalds? if i was told to do that (& i truly hadn't done anything wrong) i'd have to get on that call and tell them all where to stick it.
still_in on July 19th, 2006 02:12 pm (UTC)
Re: MSM is invincible
LOL I would get on and be like FFFUUU FFFUU oh ya and FFFFUUUUU your Store sucks tooo.....
skrammy on July 19th, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC)
Re: MSM is invincible
???? Don't any of your center managers know that you can FIGHT ANY response to MSM-type stuff, and the manager usually wins?

Example: 2 weeks ago, had an idiot in the store, came to make banner. Banner looked like monkey shit because it was a internet jpg being blown up huge. Customer looks at proof. Customer ok's proof. We explain and reexplain and triple explain, it WILL LOOK exactly like this! So pixleated that it looked like it was made of legos. Lo-and-behold, this guys gets called on MSM. He bitches about quality, about service, about everything.

My manager then gets all of our paper work together. Has form with customers signature on it for proof. Calls what ever number he calls for MSM fights. Get's the customers response removed from our scores. It's all good!

Any manager in any district in any state has the right, the ability and the responsibility to do this.
mustang_bex1126mustang_bex1126 on July 19th, 2006 07:32 am (UTC)
Sent it to Ken May with some honest words, so you're all invited to my going away party... LoL
337common_as_stone on July 19th, 2006 10:09 am (UTC)
you are my new hero.
Nutty Nuthatchnuttynuthatch on July 19th, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
Don't bite the hand that butters your bread
I am lucky that I am not in the region/district where I would have to apolgize to 11 CMs for a customer complaint.

A month ago, we got a customer complaint from someone who called Corporate and said the TM waiting on him/her was "too slow." Never mind that we have many new TMs at my store. He thought that "that sucked," but didn't go on a witch-hunt to find the offending TM and discipline that person.

At my store, who keeps our CM well-fed with goodies, takes out his trash, and does favors for him? The customers? No, his hard-working TMs.

My CM does nice things for us. One of our "veteran" TMs(10+ years) left he got her a card and a small going-away gift. And, lately, he's been ordering a lot of pizza for us. And if he sends someone out to buy him a soda (when the machine is out of his preferred caffeine fix), he will give the TM money for that person to get one too.

We sometimes get treats from local businesses as a nice advertising promotion (in the form of a gesture of kindness), but rarely (make that never) from the major clients we take extremely good care of and bust our butts for.

At my first store, two pizza operations, one a major chain and the other a "mom-and-pop" joint, gave us pizzas from time to time. But not where I work now.
suckamoosescock on July 20th, 2006 01:36 am (UTC)
The biggest problem in my district is that over your head always hangs the knowledge that our higher-ups will not back us up. They work on a theory that perception is reality. This has been taught in training classes. So as far as they are concerned, we as associates are completely disposable and blowing in the wind as far as a customer who didn't understand why the fax confirmation was only one page, not all of her 9 pages. And the CM's don't all make a ton of money. For a lot of them, the extra dough in bonuses is why they took the job. It is what it is.
(Anonymous) on July 21st, 2006 02:43 am (UTC)
I concur
We all think that at Kinko's, the customer is supposed to come first, but this isn't true at all. The truth is that here your higher ups come first. We live not so much in fear of a customer complaining as we do of a DM finding out. The result? We don't develop genuine empathy for customers with legitimate complaints (or for customers who think they have legitimate complaitns), we live in fear that anyone at all will find out about that complaint.

Other proof (http://community.livejournal.com/kinkoids_unite/363468.html)

(Anonymous) on March 1st, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
Hey all. I don't believe that a customer is always right, but the customer is always the customer. Wouldn't it suck if every retail establishment we shopped at treated us with disbelief when we had a question or concern with their services? Wouldn't we, as a shopper, want the people we are giving money to give us the benefit of the doubt? I guess I'm just the optimist that believes the majority of our customers aren't out to get us.

Don't get me wrong. Some customers are "give an inch, take a mile." I despise the people that try to game the system. I can get pretty steadfast (aka stubborn) in my position when it comes to those folks, and just like I treat my little kid - I'll let you get away with it once, but will kindly let you know how to do it differently next time. And trust me. I'll remember who you are :)

(Anonymous) on March 29th, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't it suck if every retailer treated us with disbelief?
No, it wouldn't suck, and I will tell you why. Before I became a network professional, I used to work retail and here's how the score works.

Don't give the retailer reason to treat you with disbelief.
Be polite, and state your legitimate reason for dissatisfaction.

In my experience, most retailers will give the benefit of the doubt to a polite and courteous customer, even if they are complaining. You don't get anywhere by being an asshat, even if you are right.

(Anonymous) on July 9th, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Wouldn't it suck if every retailer treated us with disbelief?
This is generally correct - infact i make a point of treating polite customers better.

The great thing about my last couple of bosses is that they don't really give a damn about the customers - but this can cause problems in trying to encourage them to spend their money aswell.

The problem is that 99.9% of companies think that their 'employees' are dumb drones to be programmed - and if one malfunctions they can merely replace it.

Any hint of intellect or quick thinking etc etc is actually frowned upon.
(Anonymous) on March 25th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Wouldn't it suck if every retailer treated us with disbelief?
I believe in treating customers with respect as long as they respect me, it is two way street, some people think they know what service is but in reality are far from the truth.
(Anonymous) on March 29th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
When I worked for Paul Orfalea...
OK, I'm not trying to drop names here, but I did work for him back in the day (about 3 layers removed, mind ya!). I worked for Kinko's corporate in the early '90's - back in Ventura, CA well before FedEx.

Anyway, one direct quote by Paul "Kinko" Orfalea I remember hearing directly was: "The customer may not always be right, but the customer is still the customer." He went on to explain that while one cannot always accommodate every little whim a customer has, it is right to do what one can to still treat them with as much care and respect as is possible. However, sometimes it really isn't possible to extend them too much because they are being too unreasonable.