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 some element of truth to it. The customer knows what they want or need, and the customer is entitled to certain 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, but only within the confines of what you are qualified to provide and what makes sense for you and your business. If your effort to satisfy the customer causes you go beyond your value proposition, or try to deliver your value in a way that is not sustainable for your organization, then the relationship is going to fail.

The point here is that we always preach “know your audience” here at The Latimer Group. And we also preach “knowing your own message and value.” Your ability to successfully satisfy your customers 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.

Have a great day.

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at

Photo by agaumont used under the following license.


One response to “The Customer is NOT Always Right”

  1. Dirk Ziolkowski says:

    Very good statement. I wished suppliers would follow the advice before they enter into a business relationship with a customer. Unfortunately, the desire to win business makes people ignoring the obvious – do not promise what you cannot deliver.

    As you said Dean – know thy customer but more importantly know thyself.

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.