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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

The Customer Isn't Always Right

We've all heard the maxim, "The customer is always right."

But here's the thing: it isn't always true.

Sometimes the customer is absolutely, unequivocally wrong.

When the customer believes they have the right to yell at your employees or treat them with disrespect, the customer is not right.

(And if you don't stand by your employees when that happens, you're not right either.)

When the customer insists on making unreasonable, impossible demands, the customer is not right.

When the customer behaves in such a way that makes your patrons uncomfortable or unsafe, the customer is not right.

Those are just three examples, and I'm sure it wouldn't take you very long to think of more.

"The customer is always right" is meant to capture the general idea that when selling something to someone else, you should look for ways to say "yes" instead of "no" whenever possible. It's a pithy reminder that making a customer feel valued and appreciated is likely to earn you goodwill, loyalty, and repeat business.

It's a convenient shorthand for a general principle, and for the most part, it works.

But that certainly doesn't mean the customer is always right.

And when they're wrong, we shouldn't be afraid to say so.


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