The customer is not always right

Recently, I attended the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games and I came across this story about one of Canada’s top franchises that banned a disruptive client from its stores.

I don’t know the details of the story, but I like the fact that the retailer made the decision it wanted to make – to get rid of a disruptive client.

It’s tough to do, but sometimes it’s not worth trying to please ALL the people ALL the time – most people please SOME of the people SOME of the time.

If you’re exponential, you want to please MOST of the people MOST of the time.

They key is SOME, not ALL.

I teach my clients to do this in a politically correct way – this was unfortunately made public, which is not usually necessary.

Entrepreneurs have unfortunately been told for too long that the customer is always right – some customers have taken this to an extreme and for that reason, I applaud Tim Horton’s for taking a stand if only to make a point.

Enough is enough – let’s get some civility back into retail.

If you don’t like what you’re being served – make a comment, then leave. That’s enough for the retailer to get the message.

1 Response to “The customer is not always right”


  • So True! As Marc said, the key is to replace ALL or SOME, with MOST. For people with freckled faces (or dimples, or pimples, as they are sometimes referred to), have you heard of:

    ” You can feel ALL of the pimples SOME of the time;
    You can feel SOME of the pimples ALL of the time;
    But you cannot feel ALL of the pimple ALL of the time!”

    Footnote: in this case, you don’t want to:

    “Feel MOST of the pimples MOST of the time!”

Leave a Reply