Is the customer always right?

At the 2017 National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) Student Housing Conference in Tampa, Florida, Elauwit proposed and moderated a general session on customer experience and how it impacts the student housing industry. We invited John M. Cashion, Corporate Director of Culture Transformation for the Ritz Carlton Leadership Center, to speak about their standards and what makes them one of the best companies in the world for providing exemplary customer experience. 

When it came to the Questions & Answers portion of the session, one person asked, "Is the customer always right?"

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John shared this response: 

When I worked in one of our hotels, a gentleman asked to speak with me about his problem. He was upset about the service he had received that morning. He proceeded to tell me how great of a customer he was and how he spent so many nights at our hotel.

In response, did I tell him that I had already looked him up in our system and knew he had only stayed with us two nights in the past two years? No.

Did I tell him I knew he was exaggerating his relationship with us? No.

I didn’t respond that way because at the Ritz, ‘we are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.’ Clearly, it wouldn’t be very gentlemanly of me to question this gentleman’s story.

In the end, it’s not about whether he’s right or wrong or I’m right or wrong. All that matters is that I treat him with the utmost respect, from one gentleman to another. That’s what he expects of me, and that’s what I expect of myself as a team member of the Ritz.

Our takeaway: it isn't about whether the customer is right? That really isn't the way to look as it. It's about treating the customer right and keeping his or her experience at the forefront. At Elauwit, the customer's emotions and needs come ahead of our own. We may not have the same 50 year old motto as The Ritz Carlton, but we do know how to treat our customers and their residents. Creating the right experience comes first.

Lindsey Johns