Quantcast
Jump to content


Who’s More Important, Your Customers or Employees?


Joe Marconi

963 views

Herb Kelleher, the co-founder of Southwest Airlines, was once asked, “Who’s more important, your customers or your employees? Thinking back on what his mother had taught him, Kelleher responded, “My mother taught me that your employees come first. If you treat them well, then they treat the customers well, and that means your customers come back and your shareholders are happy."

Shop owners have been taught that the customer is always right and that their needs supersede all other needs. Anyone in business dealing with people every day knows that this paradigm, in reality, doesn’t always hold up.

In business, you need customers; without them, you don’t have a business. However, without employees, you don’t have a business either. It’s the old “chicken or the egg” question.  

Here’s my view on this; I agree with Herb Keller that employees come first.  But I take it one step further. You need a team of superstar employees who share your culture and value the team concept. You need people that love what they do and want to help others.  Then, as their leader, you need to treat your employees well. Why? The way you treat your employees is how they will treat your customers.

2 Comments


Recommended Comments

When I had my business I always said if I could live my life style I was living without a single employee I would have none of them. BUT, I knew that was not ever going to be the case, so I treated them with the most respect I could muster. I paid them more than any of the competition paid their guys and instilled in every one, that when a customer entered our building, that was their payccheck coming in. They were to treat and talk with those customers, if they were involved with them, as I did almost all the interactions, with respect.  I also let them know if they for some reason were to tick off that customer it would be said our business was the problem, not that employee. Anything they did was a true reflection on our business and conversly, their payvheck. Seemed to work for the 11 years i kept that business.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
2 hours ago, weighit said:

When I had my business I always said if I could live my life style I was living without a single employee I would have none of them. BUT, I knew that was not ever going to be the case, so I treated them with the most respect I could muster. I paid them more than any of the competition paid their guys and instilled in every one, that when a customer entered our building, that was their payccheck coming in. They were to treat and talk with those customers, if they were involved with them, as I did almost all the interactions, with respect.  I also let them know if they for some reason were to tick off that customer it would be said our business was the problem, not that employee. Anything they did was a true reflection on our business and conversly, their payvheck. Seemed to work for the 11 years i kept that business.

Those are words of wisdom, from the heart and real-world. Thank you for sharing! 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now









×
×
  • Create New...