One would think good customer service is like following the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have others to do unto you.”  This seems pretty simple right? Treat people the way you want to be treated. While this seems like common sense, I’ve experienced a few customer service situations recently that make me wonder if words like nice, respect, courteous, and patient have been replaced with insensitive, uncommitted, nonchalant, disrespect, insensitive and rude.

There is no excuse for poor customer service. As a business owner, I am very sensitive to all matters pertaining to customer service. Clients and customers pay our mortgage, our utilities and for the gas in our car. They pay for our vacations, the clothes we wear and the food we eat.  Without our clients and customers, where would we be? To treat them unfairly and not value what they are doing to ensure our survival seems counterintuitive.

A colleague recently told me I should try to do a better job of managing my customer service expectations. This didn’t mean lowering my standards. It meant communicating to the person I was interacting with when my expectations were not being met.  We all want to see the good in people and give a second, third, fourth and fifth chance but bad customer service is bad customer service and no additional chances are going to correct the problem. Identifying it and letting your voice be heard – now that’s what brings about change.

I encourage you to be intentional about addressing the issue of customer service.  When we have a good experience we say something. When our expectations aren’t met we should do the same in a way that is constructive and brings about the change we are seeking. Good customer service is not an option – it’s mandatory. Your very survival depends on it.