Who is Really Your Employer

Eight words often uttered by a wealthy entrepreneur when receiving less than decent customer service.


“I’m sorry, I was just being a customer…”


Try this phrase next time when you are patroning a store or restaurant and you are faced with a snotty or difficult employee.


Last week at Veteran Venture Forum, Jay Walker gave a key note address before the pitching began. Who is Jay Walker and why was my husband so excited to see him speak?


Jay is most famous for founding Priceline.com in 1998 – a commercial website that gets you good deals on plane tickets and hotels. A year later that baby was valued at a cool $9 Billion. At one stage he had an estimated net worth of $1.3 Billion and was on the Forbes billionaires list but in 2013 he wasn’t on the list although I’m sure his bank account is quite dandy.


Customer service has a lot to be desired here in the US. Actually, that is too polite – it really sucks. Many a times have I been driven to the brink of rage over ignored phone calls/emails and rude employees both on the phone and in person. Medical dealings are another story and I’m tempted to make public a complaint I wrote in to Bon Secours Medical Group about one of their appalling doctor’s offices. No wonder people lose it and go postal.


Jay Walker also discussed in his speech that the customer is the employer, not the person that writes a pay check. Businesses cannot survive without customers or clients. I wholeheartedly could not agree more. By customers coming to your business for goods or services, they are giving your employees a job and making you profits. Without them, you don’t have a business.


My customers are cherished and the most important people to Darling Betty. If anything is amiss I’ll move mountains and part seas to make it all right. The other week I sent a customer a dress and overlooked that the billing address and shipping address were not the same. I sent the package to the billing address. Whoops…a BAD and really stupid blunder of my behalf. After the package was returned to me, I took measures to make amends. I refunded the customer the shipping costs, delivered it personally to her and included a matching headscarf.


So love your customers whether you are the boss or an employee. Sure, they can be annoying as all hell at times and you maybe running out of places to hide the bodies but they are the lifeblood of your existance. And you sure better hope that you are not the person to whom Jay Walker must apologise to for being a customer.