The old adage about customers and their rightness has always been a bit of a sour pill to swallow.  It boarders on placating to the illogical to out and out capitulation without refute.  But does it have to be an all or nothing or can there be a suitable balance that can be established?


First of all the first right move that the customer has made was selecting your company whether for a service or a product.  In pick you it is worth the effort to share with them a bit of wisdom… “

Good Job Mr./Mrs./Ms. Customer…. you are definitely on the right course and we do everything we can to satisfy your needs.  (However… with a pregnant pause) we must reach a fundamental level of understanding.  As a compassionate and professional organization we exercise proper care and experienced intelligence.  So  you are getting a bit more than just an outcome you are getting validation of your vision and the means by which it will be delivered.  We hope that you appreciate this and can accept this level of care as something we do as a normal course of business and at no extra cost to you.  In fact it will end up saving you money by getting rightness quickly and without unnecessary items that are ill conceived, patented commodity solution which will require rework.  The more you must make changes the more the overall maintainable design will be compromised.  We hope that you will receive this news as an open window of fresh air and make the whole experience truly a cooperative endeavor.  You will get what you consider right.”

I have shared these concepts with a number of companies over the years.  Some accept it at first glance only to revert back to old behavior.  Others have rolled their eyes only to endear it later on when they see that being right doesn’t mean being right in the full context of outcomes.  That its your partner that will ploy their talents and perspectives so that a ‘right’ outcome can be produced.  Final of course you have the total believers and non-believers both with different agenda, neither having any desire to change and only see one thing… how much will it cost and we need to have this done tomorrow.  Rightness, regardless of who is the author needs to put things back on track and sometimes this means a bit of debate and counseling.  Taking things in small carefully orchestrated pieces is a wonderful start to build trust in rightness.  Going too big and rapidly is almost certainly going to end up with things being thrown into jeopardy.

Right customers are those that we can service or deliver a product to.  Sometimes we have to make the decision that we are not miracle workers.  We are human beings, albeit experience-talented and sometimes down right amusing (yes you must have a bit of joy in all transactions no matter how somber you are) and for that reason we must know the limitations to what we do.  After all rightness for the customer is just as important to them as it should be for us.