NEGATIVE PERCEPTION OF CUSTOMER APPEARANCE

The story of an Indian maharajah who had been disparaged by the Rolls Royce showroom staff when he came in as an ordinary man had been proliferated in every social media and digital content. As an act of vengeance, the Maharajah came again to the place but in a traditional Maharajah style with grandeur, ordered nearly ten rolls of Royce, which had been shipped to India. Then in India, the Maharaja had decided to use the Rolls Royce as a vehicle to collect garbages, defaming the Rolls Royce brand. These stories add up with the countless videos in social media that show the customer had been ridiculed because of his appearance. Nonetheless, the customer that was ridiculed because of his mien is the one who had purchased the luxury products.

Maybe the stories of the Indian Maharajah and his Rolls Royce were creatively made owing to the fact that the Maharajah in the stories can’t be established. Some articles mooted the Maharaja comes Hyderabad, which indicated he is the famous Nizam of Hyderabad who had been claimed as the richest Maharaja in the hitherto princely state of India, and some articles indicated the Maharaja is from Punjab. Once I checked in the famous question and answer sharing website called Quora, they are countless stories shared by the user that specified that they had been disparaged and embarrassed because of their appearance.

From these stories, they had been one question raised on why the customer needs to be embarrassed or ignored because of their appearance or based on the negative perception such as racism or genders. The customer service who work in luxury places needs to appear attractively as they entertain the potential customer that can contribute to the business’s sales. Nevertheless, the customer who wants to make the profit contribution may well be or may not be looked at in an attractive or grandeur manner as the customer can make or break a brand of any luxurious products.

For a customer service who had been trained before they had been deployed in the business making premises, the judgement of the customer based on appearance or gender should not be an issue. The truly professional-minded customer service will entertain everyone with respect regardless of their appearance or gender as the book can’t be judged by the covers. According to a statistic from the United States, most customers who purchased a luxury or premium product come as ordinary people. Some will come in these ways to know how they were treated on the premises.

Afromentionedly, the Indian Maharaja also shows another part of the coin. He was received well once the customer service knew him as the Maharajah, also an affront. It can raise another question on why a person needs to be treated differently before and after. The customer services have an adage where “customer is always right”; hence, the customer’s appearance should not be used to disparage them intentionally by word or actions. To ignore the customer and not entertain the customer and ask some embarrassing question based on his appearance or negative perception is not a welcoming attitude from the customer service, which can damage the business reputations.

The customer service training can be pretty intense and time-consuming; however, some customer service may not be able to erase altogether the negative perception of another human being based on the appearance or any negative perception. On the other side of the coin, customer service staff have also been treated disparagingly. They are also stories where some customers had treated the customer service staff in an embarrassing manner, which is also a personal affront for the individual working on the premises.

Many premises tolerated the highly volatile customer due to sales contribution, adding more deep anger to customer service staff. However, some business tycoon like Richard Branson does not believe in the archaic adage of the customer always right and giving significant importance to his staff. He believed that if staff is treated well, it will be morphed into a better treatment for the customer. A good business must have reciprocal appreciation to ensure the business can grow sustainably for a long time.

Countless negative perceptions on skin colour and gender were broken by respective and courageous individuals who had shattered all the glass ceiling. The minor negative perception elicited in the customer service industries is something regrettable. The customer and customer service staff sometimes have a negative perception which is resentful for the working humans or potential wannabe customers. If either party does not have mutual respect, more and more stories will come out from the contemporary digital era.

As previously mentioned, the story of the Indian Maharaja and his Rolls Royce can be said as classic stories of the customer being mistreated due to his appearance as an ordinary person and being treated respectfully once he comes in a traditional Maharajah apparel. These established stories and more stories shared in social media and the digital era have shown that some customers were treated unfairly and differently because of their appearance and negative perception from the customer service person.

Customer service is a crucial part of any brand selling luxurious or premium products; hence the customer needs to be treated equally regardless of their appearance. The appearance can be deceiving as it can hide the customer’s wealth as some customers like to be in a low profile manner irrespective of their bank account balance. Furthermore, some customers will want to deceive to see how well they were respected when they came ordinarily. For the customer service person who had treated the potential customer well irrespective of their appearance, the business premises will have a good reputation and potentially have good sales. In the end, the human touch of respect, humility, and caring is also an essential part of any business, whether they are selling premium or non-premium brands.

 

 

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