Ramble On Ron

Diamonds, Music and other Facets of Life

Is the Customer Always Right?

Posted on | March 15, 2009 | No Comments

I was watching Jeff Bezos on Charlie Rose the other day and there was one quote that really struck me. He was asked about Ebay and other competitors and he said, “Don’t obsess over your competition, obsess over your customers.” I appreciate that and thought about it for a while. The guy is brilliant – don’t even get me started on how cool the Kindle is.

Saturday, I had one customer come in who was ready to fight and complain about a ring (which just needed to be polished). Couldn’t have been any nastier. My father started to wait on her, and he was gonna give her the boot. I stepped in and just kept my mouth shut and fixed the problem. Then another guy came in and wasted my time and asked for a better price with no intention of buying. I kicked him out of the store because I knew he was not serious. The next customers who came in were a nice young couple looking for wedding bands. They were young professionals like me and very pleasant, and I look forward to working with them.

So here’s the question. Do I need to be spoken to like that in MY STORE? My grandfather, of blessed memory, and my father would say no. Let’s take it to the other extreme. If a customer was looking around for more than five minutes without buying, my grandfather would give them the boot. (not in such a nice way). If you’re not buying, get out! God bless him. You can’t do that anymore, but the question is how far do you go for a nasty customer?

Here’s my take on it. If you’re a nice person and pleasant to deal with, I’ll do whatever I can to take care of you. I will bend over backwards to help. If you’re not, then shop elsewhere. I know in this day and age you need to appreciate every customer, but I prefer to be treated like I treat others. Amazon is a different model then a personal business like mine. They are the internet’s biggest retailer. Listen to Bezos here, “What’s dangerous is not to evolve.” Now that I can understand and I am proud to say that we are evolving every day down here at Samuelson’s. Really great stuff from possibly the biggest forward thinker on Earth…