EDITORIAL - Barbadian customers have value too


There is a saying in the business world which suggests that “the customer is king!”
This slogan has been used to send the message that the customer has certain rights and business houses should go beyond the call of duty to please them at all times. 
However, while we may argue that the customer should be treated as royalty, it must be said that customers should never use their privileged position to exact what they truly do not deserve. 
That said, it is high time that Barbadian customers and consumers be valued more than they are at present.
Let’s take the scenario of service in certain stores in Bridgetown. It would appear that at some establishments, only some customers are special and deserve the royal treatment.
We have all heard of situations where individuals have entered these stores only to be given a wary eye or be totally ignored by staff. However, when those perceived to be visitors enter, they are treated to a higher level of service. The tones used are much more pleasant and there are smiles etched on the faces of workers trying to get that valuable business. 
One would think that in this modern day and age, these workers should understand that while some local customers may not have that big spend as they expect, they can still be valuable spenders since it’s the repeat visit that will count in the end. 
Also, local customers may spend big for special occasion pieces, such as weddings and anniversaries, and this vital market should therefore not be overlooked. In many cases, some foreign visitors only browse the stores anyway, so why discriminate because you hear a local accent? 
Let’s now look at the whole staycation scenario. By all means, locals should be encouraged to spend some of their hard-earned money at home and enjoy the various hotels and resorts on the island. However, if the employees at the various hotels do not value the “local visitors” as true customers, then we will have situations where these guests will have not so pleasant encounters. You see, the “local guests” must be seen in a similar light as the overseas guests in this scenario. Their dollar must also count as much as the foreign currency since Barbadians can always opt to take their money overseas. We can all agree that we need money turning over in this country to aid the economy. 
We also need workers in the hotel industry to embrace Barbadians more, to make for a warm experience, which can see a situation of repeat local visitors at the hotels for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. 
It is time to treat the customer as king, and where best to start than in his own local kingdom? 
It is time locals also truly understand their worth and if they have to, they should refuse to do business with establishments that do not recognise this. 
With the level of competition present in various areas of endeavour, Barbadians should know that they do not have to accept the second class citizen treatment in order to do business. By taking a stand, or by moving their feet, locals  can ensure that as customers, they truly become king.

Barbados Advocate

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Advocate Publishers (2000) Inc
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