Why The Customer Is Not Always Right

For decades, one old adage has enabled horrible behavior from angry customers and encouraged managers to disregarded the needs of employees. Everyone’s heard “the customer is always right” at least once in their career. After many years of circulation, it’s time to put the tried-and-not-so-true phrase to bed. In reality, the customer is not always right, and pretending otherwise can cause long-term damage that extends far beyond a single lost customer.


When an employee encounters an abusive customer, it may be tempting to side with the customer in order to save the sale. However, supporting the customer gains you little (customers like this tend to spend less anyway), and it can easily cost you the loyalty and trust of your employee.

The fact of the matter is unhappy employees lead to unhappy customers. Even the best employee can only handle being humiliated or condescended to so many times before they stop caring or quit. Siding with abusive customers creates an us-versus-them mentality between employees and managers as well as employees and customers, which ultimately leads to poor customer service and high employee turnover rates.

Beyond the effect on employees, trouble-causing customers will cost your company time-and-time again. Rewarding their negative behavior creates a model for other customers to follow. In the end, your best customers will be punished while the troublemakers get all of your time and attention.

Look through the following infographic to learn how a bad customer can hurt your business and when it’s time to let them go.

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