Is The Customer Always Right?

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Interesting question isn’t it?  For years there has been this debate about if the customer is always right.

The answer is no.  The customer is not always right.  They are people, they make mistakes, they get angry, they respond from a place of emotion, they throw tantrums, etc.  You get the picture right?

Customers are not always right.  How we handle customers when they are wrong is extremely important though. 

As customer service representatives, we are not interacting as ourselves when we deal with customers. 

Our response in these situations should align with our organization’s vision for it’s customer service delivery and it’s brand. 

In order to do this, we must first know what that vision is.

Now I am not saying you are not yourself.  I am simply saying that to the customer, we represent the company.

To help customer service representatives in difficult situations, organizations should have a clear policy on how to handle customers who well, aren’t difficult, but who find themselves in difficult situations.

It is a grave mistake to leave this interaction to chance.  Not every employee thinks alike nor has every employee been groomed to respond appropriately in tense situations. 

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a customer who berated you?  I have and straight up it isn’t nice.  As an experienced customer service professional, I am now able to:

  • Remain calm
  • Be empathetic toward the customer
  • Talk to myself in my head while being very attentive to the customer
  • Think about solutions for the customer

Before being experienced though, in situations where I felt like I was being attacked

  • I was defensive
  • I was argumentative
  • I disengaged
  • I basically either made the customer feel like a liar or feel like they were not valued

Which response works best for the customer, the business and the employee?  You guessed right!  The first one is a win win. 

The business more than likely retains the customer and well there is still a job to go to because without customers there can be no jobs.

Create clear policies to help employees learn how to handle the situation when the customer isn’t right.  Then help them to develop the soft skills that they need to thrive in those situations.

Do not leave it to chance.


Duquesa D. Dean is a Certified Trainer, Speaker and a Transformation Coach. She is an Associate Trainer with the International Board of Certified Trainers and has over 20 years experience in the customer service field. She coaches organizations large and small to lift their service levels and offers a unique style of customer service training. Duquesa is the author of three books “Chase Your Dreams” & “Bruised But Not Broken”.

To book Duquesa email or visit her website at

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