May 5, 2021

Is the customer always right?

Is the customer always right

Is the customer always right? What do you think?

For sure you are not reading this statement first time proclaiming customers with a credential of being always right. In many businesses customers are not only treated with great services but are called as a boss and even as God. The logic for providing them with such VIP treatment is that their customers provide them with business. But is the customer always, right? What if your customer wishes something entirely against the command of your real boss?

The topic term is fed to many front-end employees that include, salesperson, help desk officers, etc. This statement was first used by Harry Gordon Selfridge. Harry Selfridge was a son of Wisconsin, a shopkeeper, and owned a Selfridge’s department store which was started in 1909 on Oxford Street, London.

The history behind the statement

Marketing is a huge term, where numerous tactics and strategies are applied. One way is to play with the customer’s mind, as they say, a brand is in the mind of the customer. Similarly, the slogan ‘’customer is always right” was used as a phrase being a marketing tactic. Business owners treated their customers with this approach making them feel like a top priority. Their staff was also trained to treat the customer in a way that they feel priorities.

However, the phrase is associated with Mr. Selfridge but a similar phrase was used in 1908 by French person César Ritz. He was born in a family of farmers but was known as the king of hotelier and said that customer is never wrong. Even Mahatma Gandhi, quoted in his Speech during 1890 in South Africa that customers are the most important visitors, as we depend on them. This practice of giving a feeling of being special to customers was trended by the 20th century.

Factual meaning of the phrase

As the concept of brands started emerging during the past two decades, owners of those brands communicated their offering making their target market the focal point of their business. With the customer focus approach, customer service also started accelerating. Businesses today now make efforts to reach the customer with unique offerings along with customized customer services. This helps businesses gain the loyalty of the customer, positive word of mouth, and of course business from them.

Whatever business or strategy a business adopts, the idea is to get the attention of the focus market first and ultimately standing in the market to achieving higher profits. Below, we present you with some of those reasons as to why is the customer always right? the approach is used.

Value for money

With the numerous options available out there, a customer will select the one that offers him great benefits. Even when customers are offered the same price for the same product offered by different people, they will choose what has greater value against their money. A person intent to buy a mobile phone, basically need it for making a call and sending messages. However, today’s customers desire features and configurations of their choice within the same price i.e., quality camera, classy look, higher memory, etc.

Power of customers

Your customer is a king, is said because he has powers that you cannot underestimate. Keeping them happy or at least satisfied is crucial for your business. Saying ‘No’ to them is not an option; instead, they have thousands of options and reasons too, for saying ‘NO’ to you. When you have an unsatisfied or angry customer to deal with, you need to handle them in a way that caters to both your need i.e., acknowledging your customer that he is being heard or obeyed and simultaneously bringing desired business from them.

Offending your customer will harm your business multiple times if he goes out and spreading words regarding the dissatisfaction you have caused them. That’s why it is said that a happy customer will tell some about his experience with you but the angry one will tell many.

Influence of social media

Well, social media has given added powers to the customer and works as a catalyst. The reviews and feedback about your product are spread incredibly fast, accelerating the powers of your customer to affect your business, both in a good way and bad ways.

People today tend to find reviews before investing their money in any product. These potentials customers first look if your product or service satisfied those previous customers or case is vice versa.

Pushy sales personnel, no more

When you are calling customers a king, remember that kings don’t take orders. Of course, sales personnel are employed for making people purchase and increase the number of sales of your products, but you can’t force it. When you try to push a person to buy your product, it may turn them off even if they truly intend to purchase it.

Instead of telling benefits a purchase will bring to your customers, Marketers arise the needs for certain products. A king will buy what he wants not what you want him to purchase. A simple example of this practice is those of frozen foods. When women started working as contributing members of a family, they got so much occupied to put their 100% effort into the kitchen.

This was the time the frozen food market targeted them as their focus market and started making a business out of them. Not only had it helped those women, but many other people who cannot spend much time preparing their food. They didn’t communicate about the benefits of frozen food instead communicated them as the need of time.

Availability and accessibility

Business owners also offer ease of access to their customers, as part of specialized service. Online shopping, home deliveries are included in those options. It saves a lot of time and energy for your customer and provides them with every possible ease to comfortably enjoy in their kingdom i.e., home or office. Other examples include the subscription on various channels or newsletters.

Making your customers feel right

Often customer asks for exchange and refunds. This is not a very pleasing situation for any business or front staff. However, these and other related situations are challenges faced by many businesses today and ask for intelligent solutions which save them from any loss while keeping their customers happy. Let’s discuss some of those solutions.

Avoid negativity

Saying ‘NO’ is not allowed to customers. Don’t take the situation personally and let your customers know what value of money your products offer to them.

Make them feel right

Diluting situations help. It refers to diffusing the intensity of a situation when you have to deal with an unsatisfied customer.

For example, when you encounter a difficult customer who says that your product or service is not good. The catch is to ask them for reasoning, tell them we are working towards the betterment, and ask them what qualities to desire i.e., involving them in the process.

If you get complaints about your staff being ignorant to customers, tell them that they deserve complete attention. This is the point when you can offer them incentives and rewards.


It is often seen that the customer agrees to the terms and conditions without reading them and afterward complains. You just need to bring those terms to your customer’s knowledge for resolving their complaint. Educating them is a way of saying ‘NO’ without actually saying it.

Understand relationship

Consider your customer as your wife, is what many businessmen suggest for dealing with customers. They may be annoying and unreasonable but you have to learn to live with them. This thinking will keep you on track while dealing with customers respectfully and keeping your cool.

Customer is not always right

Business understands how much customers mean to them however knowing limitation is equally important. You may smartly plan your moves in keeping those customers but empowering and educating these tactics to your staff is crucial.

Owning employees

You don’t want to lose your valuable employee to customers. Making customers a center of focus often results in an unhappy and frustrated employee. Respecting employees and investing in them for dealing with an unhappy customer is the right way. When you own your people, they tend to offer solution-oriented services to customers.

On the other hand, an unhappy employee can harm you more as for the reputation and even joining rival businessmen, when you overpass them with your customers. You and your employees better understand your product and industry; suggestions can be taken from customers for betterment. However, implementation of those suggestions should merely be your decision with the agreement of your employees.

Prioritizing you

The idea behind any business is to offer something that benefits people and getting profits against those. Trying to keep customers on unreasonable terms may harm your business in the long term. When you offer any discount to one customer, other customers also expect the same, which makes sense also. Offer only what is in your interest too.

Some customers are simply wrong; others may be the wrong market for your product. Your goals need to be clear to your employees for understanding when is need to communicate the limitation to the client accordingly in the best favor of your business.


Businesses depend on their customer for making profits, creating their reputation and credentials in the market. However, knowing is the customer always, right? was used as a phrase, not in actual meaning. It is important to develop strategies for dealing with those customers you are considering and treated like a king, without saying ‘No’.

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