I was visiting the Nilgiri’s coffee shop on Brigade Road, here in Bangalore when I came across the following quote of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Indian Nation. I thought this was one of the best definitions of a customer that I have read:
A customer is not an outsider to our business. He is a definite part of it. A customer is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. A customer is doing us a favor by letting us serve him. We are not doing him any favor. A customer is not a cold statistic; he is a flesh and blood human being with feelings and emotions like our own. A customer is not someone to argue or match wits with. He deserves courteous and attentive treatment. A customer is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. A customer brings us his wants. It is our job to handle them properly and profitably – both to him and us. A customer makes it possible to pay our salary, whether we are a driver, plant or an office employee. – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
3 thoughts on “Who is a customer?”
While I think this is an extremely good quote, I have never been able to attribute it’s origin to Ghandi.
I, too, must agree with Matt that it seems very unlikely that Ghandi would be connected to the commercial aspect of life. The wisdom imparted does reflect the life that Ghandi lived and would probably have shared. I am just curious how it was attributed to him.
It is curious to me that Ghandi was directly connected to the commercial world in this way. Viewing a customer through Ghandi’s eyes would I think change the business climate in many companies.