“Our customers are our number one priority,” is the oft heard mantra of so many companies these days. “We put our clients first,” is uttered by so many CEOs one loses track.
But there’s a problem with putting customers first. It means that employees come at least second.
Customers should never be the priority…people should be the priority. Some of those people buy from us, some of those people work for us, it’s only a behavioral difference. They are all people and all business decisions should be made considering the impact on the people who are on the receiving end of our decisions.
Splitting the population into distinct sects – employees and customers – and having different standards and policies for each is nothing short of racism. To treat one group better than another simply because of who they are is something Martin Luther King Jr. rallied against decades ago.
I have a dream! I have a dream that one day, customers and employees will both be treated equally and treated well. Not because of what they do or how they are seen but because they are both people. Customers and employees both bleed red. Customers and employees both feel happy and hurt. Customers and employees both live to feel valued for the effort they exert and the expense they put forth.
This is the new civil rights movement. People are the priority.
P.S. For those who think numbers come before people, regardless if they are customers or employees, I hope you never have to check your child into a hospital run by someone who agrees with you.