THE CUSTOMERS' RULES
- René Baratta
In a society where 70% of jobs and VAT results from the service sector, "nothing is more important than the customer". In the face of harsh competition, service companies aim to secure the loyalty of necessarily volatile customers by treating them like royalty. Employees are now trained to react as best they can to customers' demands But while these "royal" customers represent a goldmine for the company, their reign is a far from easy one for the employees. For the leading car-hire firms that are tuned in to new urban attitudes, the keywords are personalisation, quality of service and hospitality, often in contradiction with other goals: profitability, competitiveness, contractual status? At the end of the chain of decision, the employees are in the front line, facing the customer and, in the place of the company, subjected to the full impact of these contradictions. What are the consequences of the "tyrannical rule" of the "royal" customers on their daily lives and working conditions? What is their view of all this? The film attempts to answer these questions through the busy day of Karin, Ouissan, Sandrine and Khalid, employees with the Europcar agency at Orly Airport. A chronicle of these new "Modern Times", "Le client roi" urges us to think with humour and distance about our future in this new economic and social order that is presented to us as synonymous with efficiency and freedom. And let us not forget that, in our majority, we can in turn be the customer and the employee.