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The Customer is Always Wrong

A preface to a book about making customers successful

I vividly remember very early in my life, the excitement I got fixing things.  One of the earliest gifts I received at Christmas or a birthday was a “take apart car”. This was a pedal car, made of plastic and metal, that came with a small tool kit in the little plastic trunk.  With this fancy plastic toolkit, you could remove the steering wheel, doors, bumpers, hood, engine, and tires (very cool, single lug wheels).  I was around 3 or 4 years old, and still distinctly remember taking that car apart every day, and putting it back together.  As this fabulous toy got some wear and tear on it, I had to start innovating new ways to get it going down the road again.  Such fun!

Fast forward nearly a decade, and my dad would buy me old broken briggs and Stratton engines from a local lawn mower shop.  I could rip them apart, see what was broken, and put them back together.  No manual, no instruction, just dirty hands, broken finger nails, and a healthy respect for 1970’s lawn mower engineering.  The interesting thing about this foray into engine repair, is that my friends, my parents, and other people thought it was just a waste of time.  The consensus from everyone’s first glance was that these engines were beyond repair, there was no way to fix them.  If I could fix them, what good were they for anything?  I understood people’s perception, but strongly disagreed with their outlook.

I was quickly able to work my way around those engines.  Removing the cylinder heads, changing gaskets, removing pistons, rings, crank shafts…. Everything!  I found joy in old rusty parts that seemingly had nothing left to do, and had no future.  As much fun as I was having doing this, It took me a while to realize that fixing that engine wasn’t really the most valuable part.  Changing people’s perception of what I was doing…. That was where the real challenge, and ultimately the real value, in what I was doing would pay off.  All those naysayers were WRONG.  Should I just prove them wrong?  That would be easy.  Convincing them that they could change their mind, and BECOME right… that’s where the real value was.

I have spent over 35 years in some sort of customer facing role.  What I have found in those decades of experience is not “The customer is always right”, which is the predominant outlook from business owners and company leadership.  It’s actually the exact opposite.  The customer is nearly always wrong!  But, the real challenge is to “Make the customer right”.  I will be sharing some harrowing, funny, and some sad stories throughout the book I will be writing.  All with varying outcomes, but the theme will be the same.  “The customer is always wrong!  It’s your job to make them right!”

As always, the entire KPI forge is here to make you right, and make your project successful! Let’s talk about your needs today!

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