Big Mistake… Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover
By Shep Hyken, Customer Service and Experience Expert, Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author
There's an old proverb that says, "Outward appearances are not a reliable indication of true character." In other words, you can't – and shouldn't – judge a book by its cover.
I experienced something similar years ago when I was looking to buy a new car. I was just 22 years old and driving an older car that had 170,000 miles on it. I'm not exaggerating! I walked into the dealership and none of the sales people would talk to me. I knew it was the car. They saw me drive up in an old car and decided I didn't have the money to buy a new car.
The next day I went back, but this time in my father's car, which was quite nice. This time I was approached by numerous salespeople. I had no trouble finding a sales person who wanted to sell me a car. I shared the story with the manager of the dealership, who was quite embarrassed. As a way of apologizing, he sold me a car at a fantastic price.
In business, it can be economically dangerous to make a snap judgement based on someone's looks, what they are wearing, the car they drive and more. The founder of Walmart, Sam Walton, used to drive a pick-up truck. He didn't look like a man who was worth billions of dollars. How many times did he "fool" people with his unassuming looks. It wasn't intentional. It was just who he was.
Unless they prove otherwise, customers should be treated like… customers. Don't make the mistake of judging a book by its cover. As Vivian Ward said in Pretty Woman, "Big mistake. Big. Huge!"