Insights from Dana
Why the Customer Isn’t Always Right

Photo by Cory Bouthillette 

Sometimes the customer is wrong.

“The customer is always right” is a chorus that has echoed through the business world for more than a century–but that’s not exactly all there is to it.

The quotable quote spread and evolved to become a pervasive sales mentality, but when you dig into where it comes from, the fundamental intention becomes less than certain.

What do you think? Is it:

“Right or wrong, the customer is always right?” – Marshall Field

Or “The customer is always right, in matters of taste?” – Harry Selfridge


Why You Need to Put Your People First 

Behind both catchy phrases lies a hidden truth: your team’s well-being can make or break your business.

As a seasoned, high-achieving business owner, you know this from personal experience. But, when forced to deal with an entitled or unreasonable client, you still bend more often than you’d like to admit.

It’s not just you – your team feels the hurt too.

More often than not, especially in service-based businesses like retail spaces and the hospitality industry, your employees are the ones on the front line, bearing the brunt of that bad behavior because “the customer is always right.”

Except that sometimes the customer is actually wrong, asking for something out of scope, or behaving inappropriately. So, it’s time to put the age-old adages away and try something different.

Put your people first.

Strong Foundations, Stronger Teams

Your company’s long-term sustainability depends on the internal connections that keep the engine of your business running.

You wouldn’t build a house on a sandy slope and expect it to stand strong through time and storms.

So why would you give your team members inconsistent support and still expect world-class performance?

Your team has basic standards of care that need to be met if you expect them to show up and do their best work.

When you take care of your employee’s needs, when you’re invested in their security and success, and you actually have their backs, you empower them to focus on doing their best work. Because they know that you’ll hold them accountable, but that doesn’t mean you’ll throw them under the bus.

Yes, that does mean drawing clear boundaries with clients who are behaving inappropriately or otherwise being disrespectful to your team. More than that, it means setting a standard of mutual respect as a fundamental expectation of your company’s culture.

Cultivating a foundation of respect, trust, and support is essential to ensuring your team feels valued.

And the difference in the workplace atmosphere is almost tangible.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Because business always comes back to relationships. Putting people first isn’t a new business concept, but it is a game-changing one.

Employee engagement increases. Turnover drops.

Productivity rises. Client outcomes improve.

Capacity expands. Top-line revenue and bottom-line profitability grow.

But putting your people first is about far more than telling your team you have their back or fielding those less-than-pleasant clients yourself.

It’s about how you show up as a leader.

Are you nurturing an atmosphere of trust and collaboration?

Do you acknowledge your team’s ideas and contributions?

Do you turn mistakes into an opportunity to close the gaps and learn together?

Do you take the time to celebrate wins?

Are you actively creating internal opportunities to expand their professional experience and grow their expertise?

We’re more creative, resourceful, and effective when we feel supported, connected, and aligned.

So start asking your employees what they need. Then deliver it.


Priorities that Payoff

When you make your employees a priority, you create a more effective and visionary team overall. Your capacity for success grows exponentially. Because when you show up for your team, they know that you’re actually in it together, and they become a part of something more than just a job or a paycheck.

By fostering a workplace culture that values and supports your team members, you not only enhance employee satisfaction and retention but also drive tangible improvements in productivity, client outcomes, and overall profitability.

Remember, when you invest in your people, you’re investing in the future success of your business.


Start the Next Chapter of Your Success Story

As a high-performance business strategist and private consultant, I’ve been building businesses and mentoring industry leaders for over four decades. 

And with an educational background in neurobiology, I’m uniquely positioned to help you overcome internal limitations and elevate your mindset to break through the barriers impeding your path to success.

I created Catapult Immersion® to offer a dynamic, personalized, strategic growth container specifically for ambitious, high-achieving business owners like you.

87% of my clients double their revenue within a year of working with me.

92% of my clients clock 33% fewer hours at work by the end of our engagement.

99% of my clients report they are truly satisfied with their work/life balance.

Are you next in line?

Take the first step and find out here.

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