Customer disservice

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By Ashley Taylor

The customer is always right. Right? Not necessarily, but who would know with the way people behave today?

American businesses drill their employees with the idea that the customer is always right, even when they are wrong. It’s a concept that makes sense. A business serves the customer, and the happy customer purchases goods or services. The purchases make profit, and it’s a wonderfully complete circle in the business realm.

In the pharmacy business, as in many other retail positions, the customer happens to be wrong much of the time. Unfortunately, people suffer from instant gratification syndrome and the entitlement bug. The idea that a person deserves something free of charge and instantaneously has become a national phenomenon.

What happens when a controlled substance is being abused, and a third party insurance company steps in? Or when privacy practices are not met because customers feel they are more important than some “imaginary line” that tells them to wait their turn?

Studies have been shown that these behaviors could indeed be psychological disorders. An impulse control test, performed in a variety of ways, reveals how some people could be lacking an important emotional intelligence trait.

In the tests performed by universities, children are given a gift but must complete a task before receiving it. The children who could not control their impulses were studied later in their childhood and were found to be irritable and sulky. The children who were patient were attentive and competent. So why is it that these monitored, and obviously bad, traits are never addressed?

The basic rules parents teach children are thrown out the door. People don’t need to use manners. Anyone can cut in line. There’s no need to pay the cashier any money, let alone a kind word. And curse words are a familiar second language.

When customers are told that it is simply impossible to complete their order, or that it could take 15 minutes to complete, they revert back to the childhood tantrums they had in Toys-R-Us screaming, “It’s not fair. I want it now.”

The screaming fit only results in managerial action to satisfy the immediate need. The employee performing the duties and abiding by the laws in the pharmaceutical realm is scolded for right doing. Poor behavior and disrespect are rewarded, while a manager drones on, “The customer is always right.”

Entitlement should not be encouraged in businesses. Employees should be treated with respect and dignity just like the customer. The business cycle only functions when employees do their jobs. Kind words and patience are key motivations for a job well done, and you’ll find most employees asking their customers “Help me help you.”

Author: The Bells Staff

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