Is the Customer Always Right?


White Woman Smiling holding a yellow telephone
Photo by Vinicius Amano

In business, one of the main mantras in customer service is, "The customer is always right."


I believe the intent in promoting this slogan is to impact service providers with the integral importance customers are to businesses (no customer, no sales, no revenue, no profit) even to the extent of concluding customers are always right.


But there is a slippery slope of saying, "The customer is always right." It can cultivate a culture of expectations of perfection when both customers and the companies that serve them are made of imperfect human beings.


Therefore, imperfections on both parties eliminate the customer always being right.

As a result, this type of culture implies a, "You owe me," notion not only in customer service department(s) but in the overall business model.

Furthermore, this can create a pressure that trickles down to personnel to, "Deliver or else."


Sometimes as customers, we forget that business is run by everyday people like ourselves diminishing all (or at least minimizing) empathy.