The oldest marketing cliché is “The customer is always right.” The cliché is wrong. The right customer is always right. The wrong customer, the “Not okay” customer is not right for the selling company. Every organization must have its own definition of a good customer, an “Okay” customer. And every organization must have its own definition of a wrong customer, a “Not okay” customer.
“Okay” definitions will vary according to many circumstances, but minimally the good customer should be profitable to the selling company, pay its bills, and pay for what it buys. Good customers are loyal. Good customers spread positive word of mouth and give positive referrals. Good customers can be tough, exacting, impatient, challenging, fickle, finicky, exasperating, demanding, needy, insistent, and a million other things. None of their traits matter if they are a good, “Okay” customer. “Okay” customers are worth the trouble. Deal with them.
A customer can be a wrong customer, a “Not okay” customer, for various reasons. Typically, the wrong customer is unprofitable to the selling company. The wrong customer is not worth the price they are paying, the cost to service, the stress caused, or the opportunities they cause the marketer to forgo.
The customer is not always right. Blind acceptance of this cliché can lead to disaster. The wrong customer is always wrong. The “Okay” customer is the right customer. The right customer is king. Genuflect to the king.