Is the Customer Always Right or They Can Be Wrong Too?

the customer is always right

The phrase “the customer is always right” has been a staple in the business world for over a century. It’s a mantra that has been passed down from generation to generation of entrepreneurs and business owners. 

The idea behind this phrase is simple: by putting the customer first and treating them with respect and dignity, a business can build a loyal customer base that will help drive its success. 

But what does it really mean to put the customer first, and how can businesses ensure they are doing so in the most effective way possible? 

In this blog, we’ll explore why the customer is always right and how effectively you’ll stay customer-centric when the customer is not right. 

4 Reasons Why the Customer is Always Right

The reason behind the idea that “the customer is always right” is to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. By treating customers with respect, listening to their needs and concerns, and going above and beyond to meet their expectations, businesses can create a positive customer experience. 


It leads to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Additionally, putting the customer first can help businesses identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to their products or services.

Let’s find the main reasons why the customer is always right. – 

1. Customers Make or Break a Business

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. They determine the success or failure of a company by their buying behavior and loyalty. Satisfied customers not only bring repeat business, but they also act as ambassadors for a company by recommending it to others. 

On the other hand, unhappy customers can damage a company’s reputation and lead to a decline in business.

Therefore, it’s crucial for businesses to focus on providing excellent customer service and building strong relationships with their customers. This can be done by offering high-quality products and services, being responsive to customer needs and concerns, and providing a positive customer experience. 

By putting the customer first, businesses can create a loyal customer base that will help drive their success in the long term.

Here are some tips to help make customers happy:

  • Listen to their needs and concerns: Take the time to listen to what your customers are saying, and respond to their needs and concerns in a timely and helpful manner. This shows that you value their business and are committed to meeting their needs.
  • Provide excellent customer service: Make sure that your customer service team is well-trained, friendly, and knowledgeable. This will ensure that customers feel valued and appreciated when they interact with your company.
  • Offer high-quality products and services: Customers want to feel like they’re getting value for their money. By offering high-quality products and services, you can help build customer loyalty and increase repeat business.

2. Happy Customers Lead to Better Retention Metrics

Happy customers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand and continue doing business with them. Besides, satisfied customers are less likely to switch to a competitor and are more likely to recommend the brand to others. This leads to better retention metrics, such as customer retention rates, repeat purchase rates, and customer lifetime value.

In addition, happy customers are also more likely to provide positive reviews and feedback, which can help to improve the brand’s reputation and attract new customers. A positive customer experience can lead to increased customer satisfaction, which in turn can drive business growth and success.

Therefore, it is important for businesses to focus on providing excellent customer service and creating a positive customer experience in order to improve retention metrics and drive long-term success.

3. Backlash is Dangerous

Customer backlash can be extremely damaging to a brand’s reputation and bottom line. When customers are unhappy with a product or service, they may share their negative experiences with others, either through word of mouth or social media. This can lead to a decline in brand reputation and a decrease in customer loyalty.


Moreover, customer backlash can also lead to a decrease in sales as potential customers may avoid the brand due to negative reviews and feedback. Additionally, it can also result in costly lawsuits and damage to the brand’s image and reputation.

Therefore, it is important for businesses to address customer complaints and concerns in a timely and effective manner, and to work to resolve any issues that may arise. By doing so, businesses can prevent customer backlash and maintain a positive relationship with their customers.

Here are some tips for addressing customer complaints and concerns in a positive manner:

  • Listen actively: Let the customer fully express their concerns, and listen to what they have to say without interrupting. This shows that you value their opinions and are taking their concerns seriously.
  • Empathize: Acknowledge the customer’s feelings and show that you understand their perspective. This helps to build rapport and makes the customer feel heard and valued.
  • Take ownership: Accept responsibility for the situation, even if it is not entirely your fault. This demonstrates that you are committed to finding a resolution and takes the focus off of blame.
  • Offer solutions: Provide a specific and practical solution to the problem, and make sure that the customer understands the steps that will be taken to resolve the issue.
  • Follow up: After the issue has been resolved, follow up with the customer to make sure that they are satisfied with the outcome. This shows that you are committed to providing excellent customer service and care about their experience.

4. Loyal Customers Are Less Likely to Churn

Loyal customers are more likely to remain customers for a longer period of time and are less likely to switch to a competitor. This is because they have a stronger emotional connection to the brand and have formed a sense of trust with it. 

They may also receive more benefits or special offers as a result of their loyalty, making it even less likely that they would switch.

It’s important for companies to prioritize customer retention and loyalty, as acquiring new customers can be much more expensive than retaining existing ones. Additionally, loyal customers can also serve as brand ambassadors, helping to spread positive word of mouth about the company and attracting new customers.

Here are some tips to help increase customer loyalty:

  • Provide excellent customer service: Respond to customer inquiries promptly, address any concerns they may have, and make the customer feel valued.
  • Personalize the customer experience: Use customer data to create a personalized experience, such as recommending products or offering special promotions based on their past purchases.
  • Create a loyalty program: Offer incentives for customers who make repeat purchases, such as rewards points or exclusive offers.
  • Solicit customer feedback: Ask customers for their opinions and suggestions, and use this feedback to improve the customer experience.

Effective Ways to Stay Customer-centric When the Customer Isn’t Always Right

Staying customer-centric is important even when the customer isn’t right because it helps build strong and long-lasting relationships with customers. It also demonstrates your company’s commitment to delivering a high level of customer service and creates a positive brand image. 


Additionally, when you approach customer complaints or issues with a customer-centric mindset, you’re more likely to find a mutually beneficial solution that meets both the customer’s needs and your business goals. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and ultimately, business growth. 

Finally, prioritizing the customer experience and showing empathy and respect, even when the customer is wrong, can create a culture of positivity and teamwork within your organization.

Here are some effective ways to stay customer-centric:

  1. Offer options: If the customer’s request or complaint isn’t feasible or reasonable, offer alternative options or solutions. This shows that you’re willing to work with the customer to find a resolution.
  2. Be transparent: Be transparent about company policies or limitations. If you can’t fulfill the customer’s request, explain why and offer alternatives.
  3. Stay professional: It’s important to remain professional, even if the customer becomes difficult or confrontational. Responding in a calm and respectful manner can help defuse the situation and show that you’re committed to finding a resolution.

Is the Customer Always Right?

The customer is not always right. The phrase “the customer is always right” is a business philosophy that emphasizes the importance of prioritizing customer satisfaction. However, it is an oversimplification that can be misleading. While it’s important to prioritize customer satisfaction, it’s also important to recognize that customers can be wrong, unreasonable, or even abusive in some situations.

In some cases, it may not be possible to satisfy the customer’s demands while still upholding your company’s policies or values. In these cases, it’s important to communicate clearly and respectfully with the customer, explain your position, and offer alternative solutions if possible.

Ultimately, the goal should be to find a resolution that meets both the customer’s needs and your business goals while maintaining a positive customer experience and a respectful relationship with the customer.

The Customer is Always Right Origin

The phrase “the customer is always right” is often attributed to Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of the London department store Selfridges, which opened in 1909. While the phrase was not invented by Selfridge himself, he did popularize it as a guiding principle for his store’s customer service philosophy.

The origins of the phrase can be traced back to the late 19th century when various versions of it began appearing in business and advertising literature. For example, in 1905, a book called “Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls” by various authors contained the following quote: “The customer is always right, and the hotel clerk who can not remember it is in the wrong business.”

The underlying idea behind the phrase is that businesses should prioritize the needs and desires of their customers in order to maintain their loyalty and generate repeat business. 

However, the phrase has also been criticized for encouraging a sense of entitlement and unreasonable demands from customers, and for not taking into account the needs and rights of employees.


The phrase “the customer is always right” has become a fundamental principle of modern customer service. While it may not always be true, it is a useful guideline for businesses to follow. Focusing on providing exceptional customer service and prioritizing the needs and concerns of customers can help businesses create loyal customers, positive word-of-mouth advertising, and increased revenue.

However, it is also important for businesses to strike a balance between accommodating customer needs and setting reasonable boundaries. It is essential to stand by company policies and procedures when they are in the best interest of the business or other customers.

Ultimately, the key to success in customer service is to build strong relationships with customers by actively listening to their concerns, responding promptly and effectively, and finding ways to exceed their expectations. 

By doing so, businesses can build a reputation as a customer-centric organizations and create long-term success.

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Juwel Rana
Author’s Bio

Juwel is a Sr. Content Writer at REVE Chat. He specializes in writing about customer service and customer engagement. He is passionate about helping businesses create a better customer experience.

He strongly believes that businesses will be able to understand their customers better and ultimately create more meaningful relationships with them.

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