Oct 212013

Customer the King“Customer is King!” – is a widely used saying, that has much more depth in it than meets the eye. In this short post I will talk about the simplest interpretation of this adage – a customer must be served by merchant in a way that makes him feel like a King, i.e. the customer is always right. Maybe in my later articles I will explain about those other variations, that might not be so obvious to casual everyday shoppers.

Customer kingship at it’s high

It seems to me that in today’s world the customer is more king than the King himself. With so many alternative ways to acquire desired goods and services, the customer has more freedom to choose between suppliers and therefore keeping a customer is one of the most vital keys for any merchants success. There are not many areas left, where we can’t easily switch to another merchant or to alternative service or goods.

Due to the reasons stated above, I can expect to be served in the best way by any storekeeper, service provider or other supplier, I want to buy from. They have to make me happy, otherwise I will take my money elsewhere and if they treat other customers similarly, they will eventually be out of business. This sounds pretty “royal” to me – can do what I want and still expect the best service – but is this the correct way of thinking? I think it is not.

Not all kings die as kings

In my opinion customer is king as long as he acts like a king, if you start to act like a fool, you will be treated as a fool. In reality there are much more levels in this king-to-fool spectrum and the influence of those varies from supplier to supplier, but your actions will always affect your shopping experience and the merchants attitude towards you. Even if you will not be treated as a complete fool, would you really want to be labelled something like King Customer the Terrible or would you prefer King Customer the Lionheart? How you are called is not important, the fact is, that intentionally or not, merchants will treat you accordingly, I would at least.

There are quite a number of kings or other rulers in history, whom we now know as idiots, criminals or just as completely incompetent. Some of them didn’t stay kings until the end of their life or were executed because of their stupidity or cruelty. So a king can not only be treated as a fool, but could lose his throne overall. In our case this could happen, when one King Customer the Terrible’s actions are clearly annoying other royalties. Then the “beheading” of one annoying customer will not only please the merchant, but will also earn additional credit from other customers. And this is completely in accordance with the “Customer is King” principle – in this case the kings are other customers, not the fool.

While being too arrogant, priggish or otherwise unpleasant can diminish your “royal” shine, being easily manipulated or too eager to please the merchant, would not help either. A king has to be fair, not cruel and not stupid – respectable. Therefore you should never back down when the truth is on your side, just be “royal” – shouting, meaningless threatening and anonymous defamation is not kingly. A true king gets what he wants with authority not with simple violence, but when a king meets an enemy (bad merchant), he fights!


We, the customers, are in a very strong position compared to merchants, but this does not mean, that we could do whatever we want. Correction – actually we can do what ever we want, but it will cost us a lot more in the end. Its much easier, smarter and more cost effective to be a good customer to a good merchant, than either being a fool or trying to do business with an idiot. Be a good king and the doors will open!

With best regards,


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