Re: Customer Not Always Right LO2202

Mon, 24 Jul 1995 09:52:55 -0500

Replying to LO2171 --

Barry wrote
...snip snip
>I suggested that there was no possibility of producing data flow diagrams
>with 40 million elements. I ws told that this was what the client wanted
>and therefore that was what we would do.
>We of course failed to deliver (in my opinion it wsn't een remotely
>possible), the client got mad, and we missed out on all the followup
>business that should have been oours if we had done the first part right.
>IMHO, this was incompetent and unethical of us -- we had a responsibility
>to educate that client that what they wanted was unresonable. And if we
>failed to convince them, we should have refused the job.
>Moral: The client is not always right.

I think what we need to say is that the "customer's perception is that
they are right" and it is our responsibility to "negotiate the customers
expectation" so that it is aligned with reality. We know better than the
customer, we are the experts, therefore it is our duty and obligation to
educate them. Since all we ever deal with are perceptions, then, yes,
"the customer is always right".

Another story:

in the early 80's (82 or 83), I went to Radio Shack to buy my first
computer and printer. I asked for a wide carriage, daisy wheel printer.
That's what I got. I didn't go back to Radio Shack for years. Although
they sold me what I asked for, they never asked what I was using the
printer for. I was using it at home to write letters and print out
messages from our family bulletin board. I definitly did not need the
wide printer (it cost me as much as the computer itself). Later when I
realized what I had done, I felt very stupid. I wish they had shown a
little more curiosity and had educated me a little.

I was wrong, they were right....However, my percpeption was that I was
right, they were wrong....Result : For a long time I don't shop there!

Food for thought...... Ania

Ania Szpakowski
Merit Multi-Dimensional Training Inc.
5128 Sherbrooke West
Montreal, Quebec
H4A 1T1

phone : 514-484-3342 Fax : 514-489-3164 e-mail :