5 reasons why “the customer is always right is wrong” – now as an ubercool wall chart

I was recently interviewed for an article in Call Center Magazine and they liked my blog post on The Top 5 Reasons Why “The Customer is Always Right” is Wrong so much that they’ve turned it into a wall chart that is waaaaay more colorful and attractive than my original post. Download it here.

12 thoughts on “5 reasons why “the customer is always right is wrong” – now as an ubercool wall chart”

  1. I have a theory that the “customer is always right” motto is possibly a relic of the days when the average working stiff could support his/her family on one income. If putting up with a jerk allowed you to live in a decent house in a decent neighborhood, have a car or cars that runs OK, afford a decent vacation, clothe your kids and put a little away for college, it totally makes sense to the employee and the company to put up with a little BS here and there. But with wages so low compared to what things cost, a grin-and-bear-it customer policy really doesn’t make sense to the employee.

  2. I agree with the above comment by Darren. The link is no longer valid. Can anyone share the wallchart?

  3. Wish my place of work thought the same way. They agree with the “customer is always right” crap. Well, guess what?….they’re not! Customers lie to get what they want. I agree with #1 in saying it makes the employees unhappy. I feel like there is no loyalty and don’t feel valued when they kiss the customer’s ass. I wish I could put a sign up where I work that says “yelling or screaming will not be tolerated. If you do so, you will be thrown out immediately”.

    I do not come to work to be verbally abused. It lowers the morale at the workplace. It’s profit over people where I work. They would rather me take crap from a customer than lose money–really nice! I applaud the Jet Blue flight attendant that didn’t take any crap from the passenger who was giving him a hard time. He did what so many of us would love to do.

  4. I wrote a small blog about these 5 reasons in Dutch. And wanted to link to the Wall Chart, but found out it is not online anymore.
    Luckily my wife still had a copy, so I put it up there as well. So feel free to download the file from here :
    De klant is altijd koning

    @Alexander, maybe you should download it too and put it up your site and make the links in the original post work again. Not everybody will read through to this comment..

  5. Remi, you’re my hero. I’ve been looking all over for that pdf and never could find it. I’ve uploaded the one you gave me and the links now work again. THANKS!

  6. Looking for any journal rebuttals to the “customer is always right” idea I found several but what is interesting is the earliest one I found.

    The article stated that the “customer is always right” ideas ignores the fact that customers can be dishonest, have unrealistic expectations, and-or try to misuse a product in ways that void the guarantee and states “if we adopt the policy of admitting whatever claims the customer makes to be proper, and if we always settle them at face value, we shall be subjected to inevitable losses.”

    The work concluded “If the customer is made perfectly to understand what is means for his to be right, what right on his part is, then he can be depended on to be right if he is honest, and if he is dishonese, a little effort should result in catching him at it.”

    The article in question is “Successful Salesmanship: Is the Customer Always Right?” by Frank Farrington and first appeared in ”Mill Supplies” Volume 4 number 9 pg 45-47 in 1914. It was reprinted in 1915 as “Is the Customer Always Right?” in ”Merck Report”, Volume 24 pg 134-135.

    So from nearly the get go of the idea coming out there were those who knew “customer is always right” was dangerous to the welfare of their business and said so giving some of the same arguments as in this piece.

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