What I discovered is that the customer is neither right nor wrong – the customer is privileged.
This means that the customer can be treated well as long as they follow the guidelines and intentions of the company, product offering, or service. I will treat them incredibly well at that. But, I also reserve the right to dismantle their privilege entirely (or revoke it) if they step out of bounds.
I’ve looked for years for the right way to phrase how I feel about the idea of “the customer is always right”. Everyone knows they’re not but they are paying your paycheck. John gets closer here with the idea of the customer being privileged. I’m not sold on “privileged” as the right word for it but it explains the customer relationship a lot better.