I was looking back through one of my journals from 2001 and came across a list of company values that L.L. Bean imparts on their new employees. The L.L. Bean Company is a well-known catalog retailer based in Maine, known for its folksy, caring attitude. I have heard reports that the employees aren’t always treated perfectly, but I still like the ideals with which the following statements are written.
This is good, timeless advice. It reminds me of the famous quote by Joseph Neubauer (CEO Aramark Worldwide), who said, “It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, and only a short time to lose it all.”
5 Things L.L. Bean tells it employees
- A customer is the most important person ever in this office, in person, or by mail.
- A customer is not dependent on us; we are dependent on him.
- A customer is not an interpretation of our work; he is the purpose of it. We are not doing a favor by serving him; he is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.
- A customer is not someone to argue or match wits with. Nobody ever won an argument with a customer.
- A customer is a person who brings us his wants. It is our job to handle them profitably to him and to ourselves.