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The Customer is NOT Always Right

Sometimes certain phrases get repeated so often, they become more than cliche. They become indisputable fact.

But that doesn’t mean such statements are always correct.

Like many cliches, “the customer is always right” has a great deal of truth to it. The customer knows what they want or need, and the customer is entitled to a high level of service and respect from your organization. But the customer does not know what is right for your business, and if the relationship between you and your customer is going to be highly successful, then the relationship has to work in both directions.

You need to be able to give the customer what they need, and happy customers are critical to any successful business. But if what is required to keep the customer happy puts you and your business in a bad spot, or takes you too far away from your comfort zone, then the price of keeping the customer happy may have just gotten too steep. If your effort to satisfy the customer causes you go too far beyond your value proposition, or causes you to try to deliver your value in a way that is not sustainable for your organization, then the relationship is going to fail. And “the customer is always right” mantra may have just served you really poorly.

The point here is that we always preach “know your audience” here at The Latimer Group. And we also preach “know your own message and value.” Your ability to successfully satisfy your customers in a sustainable way requires that you know both things — your customer and yourself. And when we can find the sweet spot between customer need and your ability to deliver a product or service within your value proposition, then everyone wins.

The customer is always right about one thing… what they want or need. But the customer is not always right about whether their need is good for your business. Know thy customer. Know thyself. And success will follow.

Have a great day.

At The Latimer Group, we believe that great communication skills can change the world. We transform people and organizations with simple, repeatable techniques and mindsets. We teach persuasive communication skills through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and eLearning. To learn more about how we can transform your organization, e-mail us at

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