Is The Customer Always Right? What It Means + Why It Matters


Does the customer always have the right answer? It’s a question that has generated heated debates for decades in the world of business and customer service. Although the assertion that “the customer is always right” has become a popular mantra, the reality is that this idea can be much more complex than it seems at first glance.

In this article, we’ll tell you what this phrase really means, analyzing why it’s important to consider it in today’s business world. Through a customer service-based approach, we’ll discover the benefits and challenges of adopting this philosophy in different types of businesses.

So if you’re someone who applies this philosophy in your business, or if you have doubts about its effectiveness and proximity to reality, keep reading because we’ll provide you with important information you should know about it.


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What does it mean that the customer is always right?

The assertion that “the customer is always right” is an expression that has become popular in the business world and refers to the idea that, in a commercial transaction or interaction with a customer, the customer’s opinion and desires should be considered as the highest priority.

Under this premise, it’s assumed that the customer has the right to express their complaints, demands, and preferences, and that their opinion should be accepted and followed without question.

The concept that the customer is always right originated in the early 20th century as part of the customer service strategy of some companies, mainly in the retail sector. It was believed that providing a satisfactory experience and pleasing the customer was fundamental to maintaining a good reputation and ensuring customer loyalty.

However, it’s important to note that this assertion should not be interpreted in an absolute way. It doesn’t mean that the customer is always technically correct or that their demands are reasonable in all cases. In reality, it’s an approach focused on customer satisfaction and providing excellent service, even when there are disagreements or complicated situations.

Does the customer really always have the right answer?

First of all, it’s important to understand that this assertion is basically a broad statement that cannot be applied absolutely in all situations. While it’s important to provide excellent customer service and meet their needs, there are cases where the customer may be wrong or may have unrealistic expectations.

It’s crucial to recognize that your audience is made up of human beings and, as such, they can make mistakes or misunderstandings. They may base their opinions on incorrect information or have demands that go against a company’s policies or capabilities. In these cases, it’s important to address the situation respectfully and seek mutually beneficial solutions.

In addition, there are situations where it’s necessary to balance the needs of the customer with the goals and limits of a company. For example, if a customer request involves a prohibitive cost or negatively affects other customers, it may be necessary to seek alternatives or explain limitations clearly and transparently.

The main goal is to achieve a balance between customer satisfaction and a company’s business objectives. Sometimes, this may involve making difficult decisions and finding solutions that satisfy most customers while maintaining the viability and profitability of the business.

In what cases is the customer always right?


Although the assertion that “the customer is always right” cannot be applied absolutely, there are situations in which it’s important to prioritize and satisfy the customer’s needs. Below are some cases where the customer is usually considered to be right:

Misunderstandings or errors

If a customer presents a complaint or concern based on a misunderstanding or an error on the part of the company, it’s essential to address the situation empathetically and seek a solution that satisfies the customer. This may involve clarifying information, providing detailed explanations, or rectifying a mistake made.

Non-compliance with promises or guarantees

If a company has promised something specific to a customer or has offered a guarantee on a product or service, it’s important to fulfill those promises. If the customer feels deceived or harmed due to non-compliance, it’s necessary to take measures to remedy the situation and fulfill what was promised.

Unsatisfactory experiences or recurring problems

When a customer has had several negative experiences with a company or has faced recurring problems, it’s important to listen to their concerns and take steps to improve the situation. In these cases, the customer may be right in expressing their dissatisfaction and expecting an adequate solution.

Compliance with policies and agreed terms

If a customer is following the policies and terms established by the company, it’s the company’s responsibility to respect and comply with those agreements. If the customer is acting within established limits and faces unjustified obstacles or problems, it’s necessary to address the situation and find a satisfactory solution.

How does a company benefit from applying this philosophy?

By applying the philosophy that the customer is always right, a company can obtain several benefits:

  • Customer loyalty: By prioritizing customer satisfaction and demonstrating that their opinion is valued, loyalty towards the company is encouraged. Satisfied customers are more likely to repeat purchases and recommend the company to others, which can generate an increase in customer retention and business growth.
  • Improved reputation: Providing excellent customer service and treating customers with respect and consideration contributes to building a solid reputation. This can generate a positive image of the company, which in turn can attract new customers and strengthen relationships with existing ones.
  • Competitive differentiation: In a saturated market, where many companies offer similar products or services, attention to customer service and willingness to listen and satisfy their needs can make a difference. A company that stands out for its customer-focused approach can stand out among the competition and attract more customers.
  • Valuable feedback: By giving importance to the customer’s opinion, a company can receive valuable feedback on its products, services, and processes. This information can help identify areas for improvement, make adjustments, and stay abreast of changing market needs.

Ultimately, the assertion that “the customer is always right” is a complex concept that requires a balanced approach in the business world. While it’s important to prioritize customer satisfaction and provide excellent service, it’s also essential to consider the company’s limits and objectives.

Highlight your business with Primitive Agency

At Primitive Agency, we understand the importance of a customer-centric approach in the field of marketing. Our highly trained team is ready to help you take your business to the next level. From digital strategies to customized advertising campaigns, we will provide you with effective and strategic solutions to boost your growth.

Don’t miss the opportunity to stand out in the market! Fill out our contact form to get in touch with us or write to us at [email protected]  and discover how Primitive Agency can power your business in an innovative and successful way.


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Is there a limit to following the premise that the customer is always right?

While it’s important to prioritize customer satisfaction, there is a limit to following the premise that the customer is always right. This limit is found in situations where the customer’s demands are unrealistic, go against the company’s policies, or involve disrespectful treatment towards staff.

In such cases, it’s necessary to establish clear boundaries and seek solutions that satisfy both the customer and the company, maintaining a balance between customer satisfaction and business objectives.

How do you balance customer satisfaction with a company’s objectives and limitations?

The balance between customer satisfaction and a company’s objectives and limitations is achieved through careful and strategic management. It’s about understanding customers’ needs and expectations while considering the resources, capabilities, and goals of the company.

This involves establishing clear policies, communicating effectively with customers, making realistic commitments, and seeking mutually beneficial solutions. A customer-centric approach, but with a realistic understanding of a company’s limits, allows for optimal balance and positive results for both customers and the business.

What are the best practices for ensuring a satisfactory customer experience without compromising business success?

To ensure a satisfactory customer experience without compromising business success, it’s important to follow some best practices. These include actively listening to customers’ needs, offering personalized and quality solutions, providing exceptional customer service, setting realistic expectations, communicating clearly and transparently, and continuously seeking improvement and customer feedback.

By balancing customer satisfaction with long-term business objectives, a conducive environment for success is created both in terms of customer loyalty and business profitability.

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