The customer is not always right

Another thought on applying business ideas to marriage:  

I’ve always disliked the phrase “The customer is always right”. After 20 years of making a living providing others with what they want (fine woodworking, then landscape and irrigation) I know that what the customer wants is not always right. Sometimes it’s guaranteed to fail, sometimes it’s not going to make them happy, and sometimes it violates legal regulations (and then there’s just bad taste, which one has to live with). I realise the saying is about giving the customer what they want, and to a point it’s valid – but I don’t see it as good customer service to give someone something that won’t work, won’t satisfy them, or might get then in trouble with the law. Unless you just want to make a sale, don’t care about your reputation, and don’t expect to ever sell to the customer again, I think it’s wise to let them know when what they want is not right. I also think you have a moral obligation to do this no matter what. Pretending the customer is always right is bad for them and for your business. It may be easy, but it’s not smart.

What about marriage – do you act as if “the wife is always right”? Not that you think she is always right, but like a business that just wants to avoid confrontation you go along with pretty much anything just to avoid trouble. It may be easy, but it’s not smart. If it’s a matter of taste, then sure, choose to live with it if you can; but if she is wrong, if what she wants or thinks is going to fail, going to hurt someone, or is likely to end badly, then I think you have a moral obligation to take a stand.  Just do it with care and respect, the way you would with a valued customer.

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2 Comments on “The customer is not always right

  1. Great post. It’s taken me some time in our marriage to figure this out and more time to do it judiciously

    Speaking the truth in love is really the key.

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