While it is clear that the customer is certainly not always right, this phrase has become an explicit fact for the vast majority of people. The problem with this is that giving this phrase such overriding power would mean the policies and rules could be easily broken, profits would fall and market stability would erode.
What the authors of that phrase had in mind when instructing their employees is for them to have and act with an attitude that the customer is always right. Their sales people were to seek to serve the customer in pursuit of fulfilling their need or desire. On the other hand, giving non-credit worthy customers credit or lowering the price of an item because they demanded it and said “The customer is always right”, would be ludicrous and put the once thriving store out of business.
The marketplace is as tough as ever. Sales people are competing against multiple products and through multiple channels. The lure is there to compromise your business model, integrity and ethics in support of the cry “The customer is always right!”
Professional salespeople should adopt the attitude that the customer is always right and not allow themselves to be trapped by the falsehood that the customer is actually right all the time. Having a genuine attitude of service to the customer in pursuit of solving their problem or meeting a need or desire is the basis for establishing a profitable long term relationship.