But if you want to work in tourism then you need to be able to solve all sorts of problems at all hours of the day. The world of tourism needs problem solvers and not Walmart Greeters.
“The customer is always right” is a sentence that is often used in the hospitality industry and while I can see why it was invented, I must say that I do not fully agree with it and companies should be careful not to use it as some sort of general guideline when employing people.
We don’t need Walmart Greeters in tourism.
My main issue with “the customer is always right” is that you often end up with people who can only smile and say “howdy doodly, how are you doing today Sir” with a big smile. When working in the tourism industry you are actually faced with real problems, such as people losing their stuff, having strokes, airlines going on strike and so on and in this case you need someone who can solve problems. You should still be as friendly as you possible can, but you should first of all solve the problems.
An example of a company that did everything wrong to me.
I once had a case when flying Los Angeles-New York-Frankfurt with Continental Airlines, where they messed up my tickets and it took me hours to solve a fairly simple problem with a cancelled flight and when I finally got it partly solved they messed up my ticket some more. I went to around 15 different desks before I found someone who was able to rebook me on a new flight after my New York-Frankfurt leg had been cancelled. At all the other desks I was met by smiling and friendly people who all asked me how I was doing today, but as soon as I presented them with my fairly simple problem, they all looked uncomfortable and did all they could to shift me to another desk as they had no idea how to handle the problem. If you ask me then Continental should simply fire half their Walmart Greeters and train the other half to do some real work and they would get happier customers.