The cost of ‘the customer is always right’

I came across an article today entitled ‘Fake it ’til you make it’ is psychologically damaging, it’s an interesting read (I like learning about human behavior, i’m weird like that). One statement stood out to me (2nd excerpt below), mostly because this is the first time i’ve seen the topic of the cost (meaning money, for losing good employees, lack of employee engagement in their job, etc…) of requiring staff, such as those in the hospitality business, to act as if the customer is always right even though we ALL know this is bullshit.

Hotel staff, for instance, might wield tight-lipped smiles and impeccable manners during exchanges with even the most disagreeable travelers. Kouchaki calls this “surface acting”—common behavior for those whose jobs depend on politeness and constant restraint. “This type of emotional labor has consequences,”


It seems to be true that to act in accordance with one’s own self, emotions, and values is a fundamental aspect of well-being,” Kouchaki says. “Leaders might want to factor that in. The knowledge that inauthentic behavior has costs and that prosocial behavior”—like assisting or mentoring a colleague—“increases moral self-regard—this is something leaders might consider when designing their organizations.

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