Obviously, the customer can't always be right. But at the same time, they still tell employees at Nordstrom about an instance in the pre-television era, that a woman returned a set of car tires to their store. The thing was, they don't sell car tires!
The phrase “The customer is always right” was originally coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London in 1909, and is typically used by businesses to:
- Convince customers that they will get good service at this company
- Convince employees to give customers good service
And now with Wal-Mart being the only retailer that will return merchandise without a TSA-level screening process, it now appears that companies are inferring that more and more, the customer is wrong.
As an account manager, I'm basically in the business of straddling a bridge between these two paradigms. And even more often, to act along the absolute lines of siding either with customer or company results in a Pyrrhic Victory. I'd say after seeing The 300 last week, I'd aim for a Spartan Defeat.