“The customer is always right” is a very common phrase in American business. It was first made popular in the early 20th century when it was used as the slogan for Marshall Field’s Department Store in Chicago and London’s Selfridges Store (founded by American Harry Gordon Selfridge).
Both of these stores became extremely profitable, primarily because they had a reputation for good customer service. As a result, many American businesses have attempted to model their processes on the principle that “the customer is always right.”
In 1911, in an attempt to promote a local business, the Kansas City Star newspaper included an article about the business owner George E. Scott, saying “Scott has done in the country what Marshall Field did in Chicago, Wannamaker did in New York and Selfridge in London. In his store he follows the Field rule and assumes that the customer is always right.”
Many American companies have slogans that show that they care more about customer service than anything else. Examples:
Burger King – “Have it Your Way”
UPS – “What Can Brown Do For You?”
United States Postal Service – “We Deliver for You”
Mounds and Almond Joy – “Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut, Sometimes You Don’t”