Customer is Always Right

Customer is Always Right

Customer is Always Right Jonathan Poland

The principle that “the customer is always right” is a widely used guideline in the business world to guide customer service strategies, processes, and practices. While the phrase is often used as a slogan, it is not always literally true and is meant to convey a positive attitude and approach to serving customers. This principle is based on the idea that customer satisfaction is crucial for the success of a business, and that providing excellent service and addressing customer concerns should be a top priority. While it is important to listen to and take into account the feedback and needs of customers, it is also essential for businesses to set boundaries and maintain standards of professionalism and fairness in their interactions with customers. Ultimately, the goal of this principle is to ensure that customers have a positive experience and are satisfied with the products and services offered by a business. As a principle, the customer is always right can be applied in several ways:


If the customer says something is broken, trust them. From a commercial perspective, there is often nothing to be gained from accusing a customer of being wrong or exaggerating the truth. For example, many retail brands will except returns on a no-questions-asked basis in order to impress customers and build brand value.

Perceived Problems vs Problems

If a customer sees a problem with your products or services, it’s a problem to them. It is often counterproductive to argue that it’s not a problem. For example, a restaurant server might simply apologize that a customer’s food is too cold even if they secretly believe it was served at the right temperature.


Customers want you to respect them as individuals. It’s often more productive to respect your customers without judgement. This includes treating them with politeness and respecting their intelligence by listening to them with intent to understand. For example, a technical service representative may listen intently to a customer’s description of a problem, even if the customer describes the problem in difficult to understand non-technical terms.

Feedback Loop

It’s typically impossible to incorporate every customer suggestion into your products or processes. However, it’s often useful to consider each suggestion with the assumption that it could be helpful.

Product Design

It’s easier to sell a product that customers already want than to change their minds about something. If customers are convinced that pickup trucks are great, give them pickup trucks.

Learn More
Request for Proposal Jonathan Poland

Request for Proposal

An RFP (request for proposal) is a document that asks suppliers to provide a detailed proposal for a supply contract.…

Serviceable Market Jonathan Poland

Serviceable Market

Serviceable market is the part of the total addressable market that can actually be reached.

Advertising Strategies Jonathan Poland

Advertising Strategies

Advertising involves paying to disseminate a message or promote a product or service to a public audience through various media…

Remarketing Jonathan Poland


Remarketing is a marketing strategy that involves targeting customers who have previously interacted with a business. This is often done…

Brand Analysis Jonathan Poland

Brand Analysis

Brand analysis is the process of systematically and thoroughly examining a brand in order to develop strategies, plans, evaluations, metrics,…

Abundance Mentality Jonathan Poland

Abundance Mentality

Abundance mentality is the belief that there is enough for everyone, and that abundance, rather than scarcity, should be the…

Brand Perception Jonathan Poland

Brand Perception

Brand perception refers to the way that a brand is perceived by its target audience. It’s important for companies to…

Business Environment Jonathan Poland

Business Environment

The business environment refers to the external factors and conditions that can affect a company’s operations and performance. It includes…

Managed Services Jonathan Poland

Managed Services

Managed services refer to a range of IT and business services that are outsourced to a third-party provider. These services…

Content Database

Investor Relations Jonathan Poland

Investor Relations

Investor relations (IR) is the process of managing the relationship between a company and its investors. This includes communicating with…

Audience Analysis Jonathan Poland

Audience Analysis

Audience analysis is the process of studying and understanding the characteristics of a target audience. This is often done in…

Window of Opportunity Jonathan Poland

Window of Opportunity

The window of opportunity is a concept that refers to a limited time period during which an opportunity is available…

Opportunity Cost Jonathan Poland

Opportunity Cost

Opportunity cost is the value of the next best alternative that is given up as a result of making a…

Thought Process Jonathan Poland

Thought Process

Thought is the mental process of perceiving, organizing, and interpreting information. It is the foundation of all higher cognitive functions,…

What Is Requirements Quality? Jonathan Poland

What Is Requirements Quality?

Requirements quality refers to the extent to which the requirements for a project align with the business goals and support…

Customer Research Jonathan Poland

Customer Research

Customer research involves gathering information and insights about customers in order to build a deeper understanding of their needs, preferences,…

IT Governance Jonathan Poland

IT Governance

IT Governance refers to the way in which an organization’s executive leadership manages and directs information technology. It is a…

Knowledge Value Jonathan Poland

Knowledge Value

Knowledge value is the value that is derived from knowledge, skills, and information. It can be a measure of the…