I know at first glance this seems like a really stupid question to pose.
Just stop and think about it for a minute. It really is almost gone. I know the whole concept is a bit of smoke and mirrors to begin with but it was the semi-Golden Rule, if you will. Do what you gotta do to make 'em happy so they will come back and we can make more money off of them. The premise has always been a bit flawed because, as many of you know who have worked in the service industry or owned a small business, the customer doesn't really know much about anything but wants you to think they do.
The trick used to be to make them believe their feelings were valid yet guide them to a shared plane of reality that made them happy, while at the same time made you money. Perfection, while completely elusive, has been cast aside as something to aspire toward and replaced with bean counting percentages and maximum yields. Please remember the last guy we held out to be perfect we also tortured and hung on a cross. The idea of striving for perfection in the past was such a good motivator. It actually kept us all grounded because it easily pointed out our flaws and forced us to be better people.
Now days the "cost of" or the "yield of" a given product has outweighed the meaning of why we started in the first place. Please don't get this confused with sound business planning or performance issues. Making things affordable is important and being able to support your family is vital to a happy life. I'm talking about the excess. The massive greed of more is better. Greed has been one of the major components that has toppled most governments, religions and many societies.
Everyone is different, which is a good thing, in that our desires, hopes and dreams vary. One common goal is that we all want to succeed at something. The thinking of old was, if you worked hard you would succeed. That thinking seems to of been replaced with,"if you screw over enough people without getting caught you are awesome!" Or my favorite catch phrase, "he who dies with the most toys wins". In the end, aren't you just dead. You wont be remembered for your toys but you will be remembered for how you shared them. Did you know Bernie Madoff helped a lot of people, gave money to many programs that helped the poor? I didn't know it either. That is not what Big Bernie will be remember for is it? Bernie will go down in history as a crook.
It is easy to judge others and in some ways even that is a form or tool of self greed. The best way to avoid it is to strive for perfection, all the time knowing that you'll never attain it. In the striving will come the humility that, me included, seem to be missing. The idea that corporations run our country or the world is a bit not true. Everyday we wake up and everyday we get to pick which path we take. We pick which products we buy, use or sell. We pick which product we endorse and at the end of the day we either live with it or don't. The choice is ours not theirs.
The sellers of greed, whether it be a country, religion or corporation are all betting against human nature. Statistics are really cool right up until you throw in human nature. Because as bad, mean and hateful as we can sometimes be. Once we wake up a bit we are a force to be reckoned with and go against all odds. I know my religious/spiritual friends hate it when I throw this in but human nature and all life for that matter instinctively strive and evolve toward perfection. Those bean counters and yield maximizer's will lose out in the end to simple human kindness and doing the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do. So try it again, make the customer believe they are right, strive for perfection. I promise you will sleep better at night!
But hey! What do I know! I'm just a plumber.