'The customer is always right' was written by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge's department store. Though this phrase has been impressionable, companies need to alter it today. 'Customers are not always right' is certainly the appropriate one that works well in all situations.
Every human being is bound to make mistakes and so are customers. There are times when customers have unruly demands. Just by the virtue of being living beings every customer may not always be right. Also, the stories of rude and abusive customers are all over the place. So here is my observation that will help you know 'why isn't the customer always right?'
Unhappy employees: Being told, 'Customers are always right' evidently gives precedence to customers over employees. The statement itself demands employees to make peace with whatever trash comes their way. When conditions are unfair employees will only maintain customer relations for the sake it. Entrepreneurs need to know that unhappy employees won’t root for customer solutions whole heartedly. Employees make an organization and if they are dispirited they won't be happy to serve that organization for long.
On the other hand, there may also be scenarios where lazy employees do not take the right effort to acknowledge customer grievances. This has to then do with hiring the right type of people for the job. For any organization to succeed it is always important to have the ideal bunch of motivated employees.
Time & resource consuming: As an entrepreneur, you may feel delighting every customer is a must for your business to grow. This phenomenon may not always work in your favour. Convincing each and every customer is not feasible. If you put your energy into pursuing those customers who are here to stay, they will certainly help the business grow. Although putting too much of time and energy into convincing a reluctant and rude customer is unproductive. Every business has a set of customers, some good some abrasive. When you then give extra attention to an abusive customer, you tend to miss giving the same attention to the right customers who deserve it. Hence, entrepreneurs must foresee conditions and channel their efforts in the right direction.
Unfair: When you say, 'A customer is always right' it gives customers the right to ask for whatever they want. Customers have an unfair advantage in every situation and circumstance. No matter what the conditions are, just by the virtue of this phrase a customer can rightfully demand for anything. So the phrase won’t always fit every moment right!
Times change and so do principles and ethics. Every phrase that one reads anywhere won’t always add value. As an entrepreneur, follow your gut. Be liberal to opinions and ideas, but do what you believe is right. Be it the customer or the employee; favour the one who is right. The customer is not always right, but not always wrong as well!