Everyone in business has heard the statement “The customer is always right.” Many people question this statement. How can the customer always be right? Surely the customer is sometimes wrong? Surely there are times when we just need to stand there and tell the customer just how wrong they are?

It all comes back to viewpoints and whose shoes we are standing in. Remember that perception is reality, but not necessarily the truth.

Think of the following simple mathematical logic. Perception = reality. Reality = truth. Therefore, perception = truth. Q.E.D. The logic is sound, but the crucial question is: the truth according to whom?

People “corrupt” their memory of any given event or circumstance with their own slant on that same event according to their entire life history and what is important to them. Two people can watch the same short event on TV, and they will remember different parts of it or describe the same event differently.

The point is that the customer is always right—from his or her point of view. This is extremely important to remember, especially when dealing with a customer complaint or when a client wants to resolve an issue. You may think you have bent over backward to resolve an issue, but the client may perceive it differently. What is “real” does not matter to your client. What matters is what they think is real. Reality is nothing more than your perception of what is happening around you.

There is absolutely no value in winning an argument but losing a client. Check your ego in at the door when you come to work, and be prepared to swallow your pride and perceive an issue from the point of view of the client. It matters not that it may not be the truth as you perceive it. Who says that your perception is better than the client’s perception?

Is your perception of the black and white box above definitely the reality?

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