Beyond The Customer is Always Right

by: Andrew K Lundgren, MA, LMFT, LPC
Training & Curriculum Development Specialist
Dirkse Counseling & Consulting, Inc.

If you have ever worked in the realm of retail or toiled orders of food from the “back of the house” to the “front of the house”, you know that polarizing phrase that has allowed an abrasive customer to treat an employee rudely: “The customer is always right”. This slogan has been used to improve the customer experience for over 100 years. The phrase, attributed to Marshall Field and Harry Gordon Selfridge, instructed its employees to provide exemplary customer service in their high-end department stores. Today, companies realize that how they perceive and treat their employees is equally, if not more, important to the customer experience.

Businesses, more than ever, are focusing on a culture of diversity and inclusion, not because it meets compliance, but because it improves the bottom line. Let’s hear that again. Focusing on inclusion in the workplace improves the bottom line for business. Instead of bending over backwards to meet unruly or brash customers, companies are integrating a diverse framework into their workforce. By doing so, they empower employees, believe in them, and provide for them so that positive customer experience is a byproduct. A 2019 Harvard Business Review found that when a company has a focus on the employee experience it appears “twice as often on the American Customer Satisfaction Index” and financially it is more than 4 times as profitable.

With over one billion people globally who have disabilities, businesses need to consider how to fully integrate the needs of people with disabilities. Taking a proactive stance toward inclusion of people with disabilities has a two-fold effect. In one sense it allows companies to attract talented people from a larger pool of applicants and in another, it allows its diverse workforce to innovate and create a pipeline to a larger customer base. All of this, by including people with disabilities and making the workplace more accessible.  Also, companies that include people with disabilities have found they experience lower turnover, have the same if not better job performance, attendance records, and even safety records than their counterparts without a disability. Doing inclusion allows employees to acquire an intrinsic value out of work. This ultimately has a ripple effect on the customer experience (without mandating that the “customer is always right”).

However, creating a culture of inclusion within the workplace is not a simple declaration. Companies must be willing to consider how to implement a strategic plan toward inclusion. Businesses “must deliberately create an environment where differences, talents and perspectives are maximized in order to create high-performing” employees (2019, Burden).

To learn more about this topic of inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities, be sure to join us at our 3rd annual Amplify! Success at Nike WHQ in Beaverton on October 16th, 1:00-5:00pm. 

Become a Sponsor of Amplify! Success 2019! contact Cindy Bahl @ 503-258-7715 or

Amplify! Is an initiative of Dirkse Counseling & Consulting, Inc. That includes two annual events, Amplify! Success in October and Amplify! Rock Stars in May.  Events are designed to inspire, empower and equip employers to create a more inclusive workplace for people with diverse abilities.


Burden, Lisa. “Not being greeted in the morning is not retaliation, district court says.” HR Dive. Web. Retrieved August 08 2019, from

Ceridian. (2019). 2019 human capital management trends: perspective on how technology will shape the world of work. Retrieved August 8, 2019, from

Lengnick-Hall, M., & Gaunt, P. (2007). Why employers don’t hire people with disabilities. Hidden talent: how leading companies hire, retain, and benefit from people with disabilities (pp. 25-33). London: Praeger.

UN World Health Organization (WHO), World Report on Disability: Summary, 2011, WHO/NMH/VIP/11.01, available at: [accessed 11 August 2019]

McBain, H. (1944, November). Are Customers Always Right? The Rotarian, Retrieved from Google Books.

What Is Amplify!?

By: Cindy Bahl, Business Development Manager & Amplify! Event Coordinator, Dirkse Counseling & Consulting, Inc.

What Is Amplify!?

When you hear the word “Amplify” what do you think of? I think of music; sounds that resonate harmoniously and increase in volume and intensity. My friends who play the electric guitar or bass wouldn’t think of performing without their own amplifier to project their unique sounds. They practice and work hard to share the music but it must be amplified to be completely effective.

Amplify! Is an event designed to help the business community hear how they can access an untapped workforce and find skilled, reliable individuals with unique talents and abilities who can contribute to their company growth and success.

Amplify! Will shatter barriers and myths by educating employers on how to attain a more diverse workforce, by bringing motivated individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) into their workplace.

Amplify! Will help employers capture an understanding of their needs and goals, and collaborate with them to find the right fit and path. Results from Amplify! will focus on the individual first, whether a candidate or a hiring manager, to gain a clear picture of what each can bring to the table for a mutually beneficial working relationship.

Amplify! Is a cultural movement designed to:

Empower Your Workforce with training tools and assessments customized to meet specific business needs.

Affirm Abilities by helping businesses identify reliable, motivated candidates while promoting diversity and inclusiveness for people of ALL abilities.

Amplify Success! Speakers and follow up content will help businesses:

  • Improve bottom line through streamlined talent acquisition and retention
  • Encourage a stronger, diverse workforce to include individuals with I/DD
  • Develop an inclusive business culture
  • Help create a more vibrant community

Harmonious sound does not usually occur on its own; it happens when people and their instruments come together, collaborate, practice and perform. The result is accomplished with the help of an amplifier projecting the sounds created. Amplify! Will bring employers together and provide the instruments and tools to help create a more diverse culture with the end result being a productive, inclusive, collaborative workplace and community… this is Amplify Success!

Empower Your Workforce
Affirm Abilities
Amplify Success!