There is an ongoing debate about the customer who is "always right" but I have a hard time picking a side. Probably because, like most debates, there is a fun grey area that must be considered before one takes their stance on the matter. That grey area in this case has a lot to do with offerings (products/services) and offerings' evil cousin...
The reason I have a hard time choosing a side is two-fold:
- because nobody is forcing me to (that's nice)
- both sides are guilty as charged (grey area)
Businesses can be guilty for a variety of reasons but the general mistake is that businesses settle for "good enough" and get lazy in staying dedicated to their standards. I say all this with the understanding that Hilton should not have the same business standards as a bed and breakfast.
However, each individual business must set some type of standard for customer service and train all employees to always perform at the utmost degree of those standards. If there is someone or something that disrupts the standard and keeps it from being continuously met, something needs to be done. Thus, if a customer comes in contact with a disruption like such and they have complaints, in that situation, I would most often side with the customer being right.
Take notes, people, because the average consumer doesn't recognize this and it's annoying. Easily put, don't go out to eat at an Italian restaurant and complain about their lack of gluten-free offerings.
Most businesses are relatively clear about their offerings BUT consumers are not always capable of forming realistic expectations. This can happen very obviously, as would be the case in my Italian /gluten-free example, but I think there are additional instances where the customer is required to do a little bit of thinking, internal measuring if you will, and set realistic expectations before entering into a relationship. The customer needs to recognize what they want — what they really, really want as the Spice Girls recommended long ago — and choose a business accordingly.
This debate is quite prevalent in the restaurant and hospitality industry, hence my examples, but the principles discussed can certainly be applied across the board.