"The Client is Always Right" – Golden Words or Perfect Lullaby

Peace everyone. This one is a departure from my usual questions, but important nevertheless.

How many times have we heard ourselves saying “Yes sir” to a client? Is the client always right Customer is always right(which indirectly implies that all clients are flawless gods)? Or do we just say so to placate our endless frustration, caused by treating clients like infants – getting them anything and everything that they ask for, ASAP.
When you do agree with your clients (which is most of the time), do you actually believe that have a point to what they put forward? Or is it simply because ‘they’ are the ones holding the ‘benjamins’?
While most people may not agree to the blatant reality of these statements, it is true that “client cosmetics” have become an important (and one of the most well paid) value additions to the service industry.
On a more serious note, how do you deal with this age old misconception of “the all knowing, all powerful” client, within your sphere of influence. How do you prioritize between ‘quality of service’ and ‘client comfort levels’. Which is more important to you, and why?
Please, refrain from trying to defend the title statement, we all know what it really means. IMHO, clients (like most beautiful women) DONT really know what they NEED, they just know what they WANT. So, how do you deal with that, in everyday life.
Comments appreciated, with rationale.
PS: I shall share my own ‘rules of play’ at the end of the discussion, as a clarification, for I do not wish to impose my opinion on the subject.


  • You treat all clients as if they are right, even though sometimes that might not be the case.
    Then you try to discover what they really need/want but perhaps cannot articulate, and try to find ways to satisfy that need.
    Needless to say, if you are in the wrong, you should admit it to the customer and apologize.

  • I favor a plumbing allegory. Do you want some wierd and odd bit of plumping done? Sure, no problem. It will take x amount of time and y amount of dollars. No, screaming will not change that. Sure, we can trade off x against y, and I can bring in more workers. That will be x-sub-1 hours and y-sub-1 dollars. You want what? No – the inspectors won’t approve that and we won’t do it.
    I provide a service. I won’t promise what I cannot do – if I start promising what I can’t do, I’m not sure what to call myself, but it isn’t a service provider.
    I have worked on many projects where the effort would have gone much smoother if project management, “Just said, ‘No'”.

  • My definition of a professional is someone who, within the boundaries of a well defined task, puts the needs of their client above their own.
    If you reflexively agree with the client, believe me, they will never thank you if it turns out you neglected to advise them or did something that ultimately harmed them, delayed the project or the mission.
    The other element is “well defined task”. If one enters into an agreement with ill defined constraints, then these kinds of customer requests can harm the provider too. Mission creep, even abuse and taking advantage of good will can occur.
    Either way, it is unprofessional to do things outside agreements or that can be harmful. Stay the course, do the job, achieve the agreed objectives.
    How would you feel if a doctor or lawyer behaved differently? What if your minister or cleric tolerated wishes outside the faith? Would your plumber or electrician do things that could leave you with electrocution or water damage? These people all understand their professional responsibilities.
    I think the service industry has often completely lost site of what it is to be a professional. It’s not your clothes, calm demeanor or other superficiality.

  • Zohaib, it is not always the case of whether the client is in fact right or wrong, as that is usually subjective. The reality for sales professionals is that we usually need to change our perspective and first seek to understand, rather than be understood.
    The customer IS alwasy right, because perception is reality. If they perceive something as true then it is true to them. When we take the time to work with them we sometimes come to the conclusion that they are indeed right. Other times we see the flaw in their logic but if we have taken the time to truly understand their needs, we will be more succesful in helping shift their paradigm and view things a different way.
    As sales people we need to walk in the shoes of our customers and take the time to view things the way our clients see them if we want true success.

  • the customer is always right, except when they’re not. if you have a good relationship (they see you as a trusted adviser) with them you can steer them in the right direct and offer candid advice.

  • The client/customer is always right in their own mind, so you need to focus on what they see, feel and need. It’s all about them, not us, not our product, not our service. It’s about their personal or professional needs or desires whether it’s purchasing an appliance, financial planning, a meal or a membership — how can we meet those needs or desires?
    Part of this process may be educating the client about our product/service, about their options, or about the industry. Giving them the knowledge they need to make the right decision to purchase. Becoming a trusted source that they will feel comfortable returning to. Building a relationship for the future, that’s the key, not who’s right.

  • The customer is always right so long as the customer relationship is profitable. Too many companies do not measure profitability by customer, thus are flying blind.

  • Hi Zohaib,
    If the client does not know what they need – the first step is to show some empathy, take them in confidence a little and try and explain them what exactly is their need and why.
    But I feel a lot of times, LIKE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN, clients do know what they need, they know what they want and also they have a rough idea of what they can get out of the other person / partner / client.
    I feel usually, ‘what the client thinks he can get out of you is somewhere between ‘what they Need’ and ‘what they Want’.
    So, I dont think clients are really always ‘all knowing’ – but they put up that mask to try and convince / pressure you to give in to ‘All their Wants’.
    This is totally a bargaining game and every client possibly has a different bargaining power. So, before dealing with such customers, it is wise to try and understand how powerful exactly is the client you are talking about.
    How can we do that: I feel using Porter’s model (one of the aspects – Bargaining power of buyers), it would give a more rationale picture of how strong the buyer / client is:
    – Concentration of buyers: Are there few buyers and many sellers?
    – Differentiation: Are the products that you are selling standardised / differentiated?
    – Profitability of buyers: Are the buyers working on very low margins?
    Answering questions like that + Checking how important the client is strategically to the company – one would be able to differentiate clients in 4 categories:
    – Clients with high bargaining power + Very critical to business
    – Clients with high bargaining power + Not very critical to the business
    – Client with low bargaining power + Very critical to business
    – Clients with low bargaining power + Not very critical to business
    And, then while bargaining, we know which clients not to upset and not to push too much (and tolerate some client cosmetics) versus which clients can be told what exactly is the service that they would receive for the price paid. We can formulate the bargaining game accordingly and set out the ‘rules of play’ accordingly.

  • While I tend to agree with the statement ‘the customer is always right’ I think you need to take it within some context.
    The customer thinks they are always right because their perception is their reality. The ‘rightness’ of their idea all depends upon their view of the situation and drivers forcing them to make this decision. Just like anyone, if the view of a problem is flawed them the solution to solve that problem is also flawed.
    It is my job, as a contractor or an architect, to ensure that I understand the issue being presented to me, and also to make sure that the customer understands it, and then to ensure that both of our understandings align before I start to pitch anything remotely looking like a solution, or shooting down (or validating) a solution brought to me.
    I always go by the axiom ‘a person convinced against their will is of the same mind still’. Basically it means that you may be able to sway a persons view to match your own, but if they truly do not believe it then they are still not playing as a team member and that can bite you in the long run, either because they will do something (intentionally or unintentionally) that sabotages the project, or at very least, if it does not work they will be the first to jump on the ‘I told you so’ bandwagon.
    Remember that as a contractor, you always have the option to walk away form something if you really and honestly view the customer’s requirements or proposed solution as unrealistic. Sure you loose the money, but if you are right, you also loose the headache and possible bad name you could get from being involved with a flawed implementation.
    I personally would rather maintain a reputation of being a hard-ass when it comes to sticking to a plan but maintaining a high degree of efficiency and professional integrity, and being associated with more successful implementations than to be someone who just does more volume. I leave the ‘yes sir’ accounts to other contractors that prey on volume over quality. I am a small shop so I can afford to do that, but not everyone may have that option. I am not light about how I work, and I make sure that I am upfront about it right at the start of my engagement. Setting expectations is paramount in proper communications. In fact many times this situation can be resolved simply buy setting expectations well. The key towards doing all of this is building a good relationship with the client so that they view you as a trusted advisor and not as a person pushing technology on them just to get paid for it. This takes a lot of relationship building, and depending on the client, can take a while to build up. This is one reason why I like to set expectations up front, so I don’t spend a ton of time with a client that is not going to be committed to this process along with me. The ‘trusted’ part goes both ways.

  • Hello Zohaib,
    Good question with a lot of aspects to it.
    I would say that there is a time to listen to what customers say and there are other times when to choose not to listen.
    There are no easy answers, no real right and wrong, just different choices of how to do things.
    It may be quite useful to know if one aims to be a leader or follower in what one delivers.
    If one is working for to be leader in a certain commodity, one may not always want to listen to what customers say that they want.
    I like the old quote: “If the customer is always right, today we’d have extremely fast typewriters”.
    How many customers have ever asked for a new, ground breaking technology?
    Experience show that customers rarely ask for what they don’t know exist.
    I think below article from earlier this week describe this quite well:
    “Don’t listen to your customers”

  • Diana (Haught) Schumacher

    After years of focusing on relationship building whether w/ prospective client or an actual client, I always count on that base/foundation of reltationship to find and fix the problem… the client is NOT always right and when you have a good relationship you are able most times to walk them through the problem/issue w/ results that are logical, fair and acceptable to all parties….well, thats habeen my experience anyway…

  • Hi Zohaib,
    Customers are not always right, any more than I am. But as a good vendor, I do give them the benefit of the doubt on marginal calls.

  • Its indeed a perfect lullaby. Its that fantasy that unreasonable clients want to live in, without realizing that the very purpose they hire a consultant is because there are some things they eitehr can’t do right or need a third party to facilitate them with. And likewise, consultants who follow this principle tend to keep these fools in that fools’ paradise. I personaly feel that if the client is a genuine professional, he would respect his consultants for putting their point across and their foot down on anything unreasonable that the client says. And such candid relationships based on understanding and trust in one’s capabilities prove to last in the long run.

  • If you are really honest in your approach to business then “The Client is Always Right” is the mantra to keep the client…..happy…..
    Otherwise one may treat it as a Lullaby…for passifying the client who insists on throwing tantrums to fulfil his neverending demands….

  • In my line of work the answer to that question is a most definate no. The client is not always right.
    My remit is clear…I am employed to protect the interests of the business I work for, I make decision based on risk management and the ability/willingness of our clients to pay for the goods and services they take from us. If a customer is unwilling or unable to pay for the goods they have already had from us then I am more than happy to stop them having more goods from us regardless of who they are.
    Its how that message is handled which is of greater importance though. Just because they are not right does not mean I can rub their noses in it (though it is incredibly tempting at times). There is a professional way to handle such conversations that leaves the client fully aware of why they are not right, how they can fix the situation and still assures them that we are willing to continue working with them in the future.
    There are times when the client is right and we have to adapt and change our approach to be flexible enough to deal with those cases, and again this is done in a professional way that does not jepordise the interests of my business.
    I don’t think you need to priorise between quality of service and client comfort. If you handle the relationships properly then even if you give the client bad news if can be done in a way that gives both quality service and client comfort. As a credit manager its what my team and I strive for in every conversation…an outcome that is right for both the client and my own company.

  • I’ll put it this way in terms of behavioural response to any customer query the company representative should always act/talk in a professional manner whatever the customer says and yes even if the customer is frustrated and uses swear words.
    This phrase was never meant to be taken literally that wouldn’t make sense. It is about conduct with customers and it helps employees to understand how to behave and it makes customers feel valued. In general people shouldn’t focus on who is right or wrong they should make things right together.

  • In my opinion the client may not always be right, but I will certainly not put it across that way, I would much rather let the client know that I agree to disagree and put forth my point with a rationale.
    All this is ofcourse in the best interest of the client. If he still insists, I will oblige.

  • I agree w/Adam’s statement above… I’ll also say that the client is certainly NOT always right.
    But they ARE always “the client.”
    I long ago stopped kowtowing to high-ego clients hoping to get stroked. I agree if they seem “right” to me, I push back if they don’t. It has more to do with the actual, personal relationship — real and perceived — than it does with a simple “client” relationship.
    I’ve found that clients with whom I’ve disagreed seem to ask me back more frequently. A CEO not accepting disagreement is a CEO in name only; most have plenty of “yes” men (no gender bias) around them. They NEED someone who will share with them the unvarnished truth as they see it.
    That’s where I come in.
    But that’s just me…

  • The client is living in their perceived world. And they have spent a life time organizing that world to be “right” for them. The catch is that they can’t see they constructed this world of meaning and assumptions. It appears as reality and truth to them. It is like a fish. It doesn’t know it is in water.
    So, yes. The customer is always “right” in their world. However, most customers have hired us to improve some element of their world.
    Our job as service providers is to make the unseen seeable to the client. Help the fish realize it is in water. And this can be a bit challenging when the client has spent a lifetime operating within a set of beliefs and assumptions.
    The best solution is to contract upfront around this reality. Have a frank and honest conversation with the client during the contracting stage of your relationship. Build agreement around how you will deal with conflict if it arises in the engagement.
    My mentor in managing client relationships is Peter Block and his book Flawless Consulting: http://tinyurl.com/flawlessconsult
    I also learned a lot from Mark Samuel’s perspective on building recovery strategies into agreements: http://tinyurl.com/marksamuels
    “Nobody is perfect, so how will we deal with it when we are in disagreement?”

  • The customer always has a point to put forward, and we pay people to listen because takng someone else’s point of view as more important than one’s own is so unnatural. However, the prioritization you ask for between “quality of service” and “client comfort levels” is impossible as the statements are identical, being all part of a feedback loop necessary to improve things past the limit where older ways of working are capable of taking you. To exaggerate slightly, “prioritizing” (I would prefer “findnig a middle way”) between kowtowing to the customer and cold-shouldering him is the whole point of customer management. If there were easy, generic rules, we wouldn’t need managers to sort out priorities…
    This catchphrase was invented in an age when the idea of customers having a choice was moving from a wildly radical idea to a reality you had to face. They came to your shop, they bought what you had; later they started considering larger perspectives, and they came to your shop once to compare, and twice to buy or negotiate, if you were lucky.
    Nowadays we are all brought up in the idea of alternatives, free markets and the like. However, the lesson this catchphrase brings is still relevant for those new to customer interfacing, and is no doubt one of the eternal verities that will keep on being rediscovered, as long as customers have a choice; it is very relevant for those who work in a specific field of expertise and are sure that they have come up with a solution that the customer cannot logically or rationally fault; in all cases because it is something that is not natural to the average human being, and as such has to be learnt.
    Therefore it is of far more value inside the supplier company as a feedback mechanism, than actually being said to the customer, as follows:
    – Supplier people must be aware that the customer has a choice to say “no”;
    – they must accept that if the customer perceives something wrong, then either there is something wrong or the guy is an idiot, and stating the latter causes an immediate execution of the “choice” in your disfavour;
    – it should be used as an example of how putting yourself in the customer’s position leads to improved performance;
    – it should be used to generate humility among technical and thematic experts that the customer interface has to be treated in ways that are not 100% technical, rational or logical, and therefore a separate area of expertise (client cosmetics);
    – it shoud be used to criticise aspects of the customer’s approach in order to build better methods of dealing with them.
    It is pathological to allow the idea of a supplier organisation built to follow the whim of a customer: such organisations were called “servants” and “slaves” in the not too-distant past.
    It is pathological to mix individual customer-specific treatments, services or products and general, mass-market ones: the management methods and organisations are too different, not to say opposed.
    It is pathological to analyse the customer internally in more than general terms – “quality of service” and “client comfort levels” are not something that can be experienced by anyone other than the client, they are subjective to that person at the prevailing time, date, in the mental state and under the environmental conditions, and these sorts of phrases are to all intents and purposes identical.
    It is pathological to treat the customer as a monolithic block; each interface can be individual and variable, and therefore numerical assesssment or the search of all-embracing laws has to give way to people management.
    It is pathological to be so worried about customer reaction that action becomes frozen by fear.
    Summary : Customers are there to be managed… good luck!

  • Nobody knows everything. Even the President of the United States has gaps in their knowledge base.
    Unless your client hired you to be a “yes man”, as a professional adviser you have an obligation to remain independent and provide unbiased advise. If your client disagrees and objects to your advise on fundamental issues, you are best served by parting as friends.

  • The customer is always right within their frame of reference. If they come to you for a service, they are buying your expertise. It is your job to grow that ‘sense of rightness’ with them. This helps them move towards a fuller sense of ‘right’ in partnership with yourself as the subject matter expert.

  • Well, if many of your clients accord in the same thing almost sure you are doing something wrong, so you are needing correct it, but if you have a doubt about your client you can ask for the pay ticket and what’s the trouble and why if applies. of course it’s only a suggestion.

  • Hi Zohaib,
    Good question.
    My first real “sales mentor” gave me only two pieces of advice about selling, which I today provide to others as well:
    1. Always, but ALWAYS, say yes to a cup of coffee (i.e. get personal, get in touch with your client)
    2. The Client is not always right. But he is ALWAYS the client (i.e. remember why you are here … business / money)
    Good luck,
    Gideon Silberman
    director business development
    +46 8 559 22 359
    aneeva is a company specializing in accelerating business for technology companies in specific European markets. For more information about aneeva, please visit us at http://www.aneeva.com.

  • If he is paying the money he has the right to speak and question and you have the right to answer and then question…What is right will only come out of the combined efforts of the discussion and not one way communication !
    Great day !

  • Your question becomes even more interesting when you take a longer term view. At what point does the voice of the customer become a distraction and a hindrance to future innovation? Most customers know what they want: free, perfect, and now. Can they understand what they will want going forward? The record says absolutely not!
    Xerox created a whole industry when they took their copy machines to the office suites, going around the traditional service providers (pressmen) and engaging a new customer (secretaries). They thrived while the old companies struggled to innovate and overcome their lock-in to old customers. Xerox foresaw the advent of the PC and its impact on desktop publishing, but they gave away the technology to the laser printer and developed the Docutech, staying locked-in to their old customers and business model.
    It’s an interesting dilemma with difficult solutions – most often calling for disruptive innovation and the creation of white space. This ability is critical for long-term future success and very difficult to find in our organizations today.

  • Customers may not always be right but they are always the customer. Not my quote and I can’t remember where it came from…Maybe Macy.

  • Zohaib, very interesting and timely topic. We recently ran in to a situation that had our heads spin since last few days to come up with answer for the same question.
    We recently worked on a software project for one of our clients, who was selling it to their clients. When we initially gathered requirements, let’s say for project A, we provided “rough” estimates as end-client didn’t want to “waste” time specing entire project. After that end-client asked to estimate additional work, let’s say for project B. We provided them estimates but they didn’t approve due to their “budget” limitations. We developed and delivered project A (within budget for that project and ahead of time) and during review process end-client said that it was useless without project B. Now they are trying to skim work for project B from our client without wanting to pay for it. Not only that, they also want to add more work on project A that wasn’t discussed before. We know that we delivered what was agreed upon initially and even within approved budget. To retain their client as a “happy client” and to avoid telling client that they are “Wrong”…our client has agreed to provide additional services for “Free”…yes, 100% free of cost. Only because end-client is a major client for our client and that they are afraid to have a “healthy” discussion which may prove end-client to be on the wrong side. I am not sure if this was the plan that end-client had all along the way.
    My personal and idealistic opinion is that a business dealing is a mutual engagement and that can only survive for long if both parties are willing to work as partners with equal leverage and have enough trust in their counterpart. I like keeping healthy business relationships that works out well for both parties. I wouldn’t mind admitting my mistakes and at the same time I would expect my client to do the same. A client that always seem to be “getting” you, is probably not the client that you will be able to afford for long.
    Now realistically and given current times, you want to weigh all your options before trying to prove yourself right and your client wrong…always remember that the person who writes the check is going to have bigger ego. If you can have better long term outlook with a client than there is no harm in giving in some times…just don’t make it a habit if you are not getting any thing in return. Also, if you give in, make sure that you correct your client with sugar coated discussion. You will also come across clients with different mindset, so keep your approach and actions flexible…there are usually only 1 or 2 bad apples in entire bag.

  • As we all know the customer is not always right in our minds but how we deal with situations like this is key. We take each case and deal with it so it is a win/win for both parties.

  • Hi Zohaib, The customer/client always has to take ultimate decision as to their options and outcomes!, in respect to the advice/product we offer, my role is to advise of their options and consequences of each including risk and benefits. Once the client decides their preferred option, on the basis that they have made an informed decision my role is to support them and deliver results within the perameters of the option of choice. Ultimately this ensures customer satisfaction and loyalty. As the most powerful marketing tool of any business is the referrals we receive then satisfaction / value experienced by the customer ensures good feedback and business growth.

  • Zohaib, a very good question and some very sound answers. Alot of people tend to forget that until you start transacting with a client, you have the right to walk away. When dealing with someone for the first time, I am always thinking the following: if this will work, what are they like, are they realistic/unrealistic in their demands, is this going to be a one-off relationship or does it have the ability to grow and develop etc. If a client respects you and appreciates/seeks your advice/view/input then they will respect if you happen to tell them they are incorrect and can back it up with logic, fact or experience. On the flip side, their are times when you do have to work with unreasonable clients for a variety of reasosn and in those situations, you can either hope to change them over time, or just grit your teeth and get on with it knowing that it is purely a business relationship. A the end of the day, everyone situation is different and you need to assess it on it’s merits but the moment you lose self respect then it is time to walk away. cheers

  • Rule one says it all, “the client/customer has the right to wrong just like the rest of us.
    Customers are to be treated with respect AND as an equal. In a long-term relationship, I know I’ll have to point out they make mistakes. I have and it’s always been productive and often made the relationship more profitable.

  • I think you are looking at the adage “The Customer is Always Right” way to literally. The customer is most always wrong. What the phrase in reality means – “Don’t make the Customer Wrong”. Reasonable people when confronted with the same table of facts will usually reach the same reasonable conclusion. In most all cases the customer has run right past a whole set of facts (or subconsciously chosen to ignore them). You can call the customer an idiot and make them wrong (which will more than likely be the last time you get to refer to the person as a “client”); or you can help them get all the facts up on the table and work your way together to “right”.

  • Hi,
    I can answer from an advertising perspective. The client may be right but not all the time. If you are really concerned about their success you will agree to disagree. That’s the proper way to do things.
    Having said that agencies are now co-brand managers so they should have a say in the strategy, creative etc. It’s a give and take you too can be wrong and it shouldn’t be about scoring points but what’s best for business.

  • No, the customer is not always right, but the customer is always the customer.
    If it’s a customer with whom you’ve developed a relationship and demonstrated your value through solutions that improve their operations, fee free to be blunt. Make sure you’ve earned that right first!
    If unsure, I’ve found an excellent way to defuse this situation is to couch your answer in terms of a third person so that you are not directly attacking the customer’s preconceived notions. “I understand why you say that. In fact I just had this situation come up with another customer. What he found after doing a little research was that (insert solution here) was a better solution because (provide real, concrete benefits).”
    Don’t play “I’m right, you’re wrong, let’s fight”. Making it about a third party gets your point across without a confrontation.

  • The customer is always paying, so without getting into the realms of aesthetics, semantics and moral philosophy, it is reasonable to defer to them even if you think they are wrong. You might try persuading them that this or that option might be better but not at the expensive of losing them.

  • Whether they are right or wrong isn’t the point. The point is – most businesses are in the business of separating customers/clients from their money. There are many different ways of doing this from sincerely discovering, understanding and meeting needs or just platitudes until the cash is in hand or invoice paid. The former takes a great deal of work and yields incremental success over time. The latter is quick, often easy, devoid of long term relationships and short-lived.

  • I believe the customer is always the customer, central to the business, your reason d’etre, etc. This doesnt always mean that they are right. As a vendor the key is to set proper customer expectations that are based on long term mutual benefit. I believe the customer relationship is a lot like a marriage. Successfull marriages are partnerships where both parties gain mutual benefit and compromises are made on both sides for the sake of the partnership.
    Good Luck!

  • It seems to me that a client hires you to provide a service to them. If the range of services provided includes within it a”wrong” view, then you are obligated to inform the client. Otherwise you aren’t doing you job and you risk allowing the client to make a bigger “wrong” down the road.

  • The customer is always right is something you teach people when they are dealing with customers for the first time. It is a solid base to work from. In latter training I get front line staff to adopt more personal Axioms but as long as the understanding that “the Customer is Vital” is held to the fore. When you hear a staff member say, “If it wasn’t for all these customers, my job would be easy.” I just shake my head and wander what all the training is for.

  • Tiffany Lyman Otten

    Personally, it’s a fine line: they will always know more about their strategy and the drivers behind it no matter how good you are (for example they may never tell you that the CEO is involved in black ops and hence that’s why he’s gung-ho on ABC strategy!) so in that vein, of course, they are always right. You can’t usually change their objectives or top-level strategy.
    Where we make the mistake is confusing tactics as strategy. And we do it ALL THE TIME. So, in those instances, I rarely go with the tack that the client is always right. We start there, for certain, but frankly, they wouldn’t be talking to me if I couldn’t offer some valuable insight that differs from what they *already know*.
    So a “yes man” is a vendor; someone willing to challenge assumptions with the best interest of the client in mind as the end game is a consultative partner.

  • Randall Isaac

    The client is always right…as an expression of their perception of the problem. They may not be right as to the facts of problem. As sales people, I believe it our job to discover the true facts behind the perceptions, and determine if we have a true solution to resolve it. The challenge is not the client…its ourselves. We too have our own perceptions that routinely blind us to reality. Truth is discovered not by changing how clients behave, but by challenging our own desires and perceptions and letting the truth be seen.
    Effective listening is a challenge under normal daily circumstances. Add to it intense quota pressures and effective discovery can become incredibly difficult.

  • Stuart Christian

    I’ve enjoyed reading the responses. To me the clear answer to the title of this article is, “No, the customer isn’t always right, but they are the customer.” I have learned over time that your customers largely will never mislead you purposely. Sometimes you will get the occassional client that wants something for nothing, but those cases are rare. At the end of the day customers want their problem solved with a high degree of urgency and sense of respect from an account manager that they feel has their best interest at heart.

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