Or are they? Isaac Asimov had 3 Laws of Robotics (bare with me, there’s a point):
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm;
- A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law;
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
In the above Laws of Robotics, the human being’s health and well being were the focal point. In the rules of the service industry, I believe the same to be true. The human being should be the focal point.
In the end, I propose the following Laws of the Service Industry:
- The employee shall protect his or her own life and well being above all else, as long as such protection isn’t protection against a mere inconvenience;
- The employee shall protect the existence and well being of the employer, so long as this does not conflict with the First Law;
- The employee shall obey the orders given to him or her as long as those orders do not conflict with the First or Second Law;
- The customer is always right, so long as the customer’s demands do not conflict with the First, Second or Third Law.
In this case, we’re focusing on the long term success of the company by ensuring the employees remain healthy and able to continue working and that the employer remains healthy and able to continue running as a business. There’s also discretion built in to allow employees to have free thinking capabilities; however, the employees that abuse this or are continually wrong with their judgment would end up terminated by the employer.
Finally, the customer is right, so long as the customer’s requests do not harm the employee, the employer or conflict with the employer’s demands.
Anyone who has worked in the service industry has encountered individuals who we believe are not worth keeping as a customer. The old thinking was that every customer was a gem, but that concept is dead now. A good customer is worth everything you can do to make their experience more enjoyable; however, a bad customer is a drain on your resources and your company morale.
In conclusion, cut the bad customers out of your life. They’re not worth it. Your company will grow and be more successful without the bad customers, giving you more time to bring in the good customers.