I think I've seen the sense of "the customer is always right" in a new light today. I've witnessed someone waking up earlier than normal to do a job, and when I asked why so early, I got the answer "It's a customer!" (not literally, but that was the basic sense of it), and I caught it as "If the customer says a specific time, then that's when you do it."

Now, I know far from all the facts, so I can't even come close to knowing the truth. It smacks me as a bit curious, though, that so much decision, on a Sunday no less, was left to the customer. I mean, had I heard something like "it was the most practical for all involved", I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

However, this entry isn't really about that specific deal, it's rather about a curiousity on how to relate to a customer, and most of all trying to understand how others relate to customers compared to my own way.

You see, I don't at all buy the old "the customer is always right" mantra. I do think that you always need to listen to a customer's needs and be prepared to answer them the best way you can. It's simly the respectful thing to do, as with any other kind of relationship. However, I don't think it's too much to ask the same kind of respect back, which means that the customer will have to be ready to listen for what I have to say about what they want to do, as well as what I need to do the task with the best quality possible, including timing and how that fits my daily schedule. The rest is negotiation around what's the most practical for everyone involved, myself, the customer's personel, my collegues...

How about you?

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