Is The Customer Always Right?

Yes, even if they’re not.

“The customer is always right” is a slogan which encourages the service staff to give a high priority to customer satisfaction.

Image: The Independent

The phrase was termed by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London, in 1909 and it’s used by businesses to convince customers that they will get good service at this company and convince employees to give customers good service. They treated customer complaints seriously so that customer would not feel cheated or deceived.

However, nowadays, “the customer is always right” slogan often leads to messy situations where customers tend to abuse their privilege and the customer service representatives who must provide top-notch service have no right to say “no”.

Thus, there has been an increasing amount of complaints about the customer from the service line regards to the ridiculous customer they’ve encountered.

If your start-up falls into the service line, “the customer is always right” should be your corporate mantra. For businesses with minimal track records or operating history, it’s crucial to make every customer happy to some degree. Your customers need to know that your start-up cares. And here are the reasons why we believe in “the customer is always right” practice.

“The customer is always right” if you want their money

Image: Gary Vaynerchuck

Despite facing difficult customers, Gary Vaynerchuck claims that he never allows himself to stray away from “the customer is always right” belief.


Well, according to Gary, the customer is always right as long as you want their money. If you don’t care about their money, then the customer can absolutely be wrong.

But, if you’re asking someone to pay you the money that you want, they absolutely have the right to put demands on your time and resources and have you accommodating to them.

And we agree. Before you complain, you need to understand that the one who pays has the upper hand.

Loyal and returning customers

Image: The Huffington Post

Regardless who’s at fault, you need to focus on the end result. Once the interaction is over, you want to leave the door open so the customer will feel comfortable returning.

And if your customer happens to be wrong, you need to treat your customer with dignity and respect.

Because it’s not about proving the customer wrong. The bigger picture here is, you want your customers to come back to you for your high-quality service

Even the bad customers should be handled with care.

Take the high road, be professional, and treat the customer, whether right or wrong with respect. You want your customers to return, even the bad ones.

Employees or customers come first?

Image: World Arts Me

Losing a customer may be bad but losing an employee is far worse.

Allowing your employee to be mistreated by a customer is a big no-no and never underestimates that for it can affect not only your staffs’ spirit but also the company’s morale.

You can eventually have a team that is demotivated, disengaged and disloyal to your company.

Gary has fired clients when they negatively affected the people who are his “family” and company which he values more than the client itself.

You can indeed refuse any customers if their demands are not worth the time and effort. But just make sure that “firing” your nasty customer is for a good cause. When you support your employees from a difficult encounter with a customer, your employees will appreciate, be motivated, and build their loyalty to you and your company.