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Customers: Right or Wrong?

I’m enjoying a cappuccino.

The cafe I now frequent, de Koffie Salon, only serves whole milk in their espresso drinks. I asked the barista why, and she said that they only serve local farmer whole milk because it’s the best. The lesser-fat milks just doesn’t steam or taste the same. That’s all they serve – whole milk. (Good answer).

This was an issue early in the history at Starbucks. Starbucks founder, Howard Schultz, was adamant that Starbucks only serve whole milk – the only authentic way lattes and cappuccinos are made. But Starbucks baristas were getting complaints in-store and customers were calling customer service to complain.

So, Howard reluctantly gave in… and they started offering low fat milk. Nowadays in addition to whole milk… you can get, low-fat and non-fat milk as well as soy for your drinks. Not ‘authentic’ but customers are happy with the options.

This is a challenge business managers often face. Commercial artists and artists at ad agencies face this situation all the time… What they know to be ‘right’ artistically vs. what the client wants.

You’ve heard the phrase “The customer is always right.” There’s another phrase I prefer…

“The customer may not always be right, but they’re never wrong.”

This is an example of that… It may not be “right” but it’s what people demanded…

What do you do? Does this begin to dilute what’s genuine? What would you do?

Anyhow… it’s a delicious cappuccino.

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