Be a better customer

If you’ve read much of my work, you know a big part of what I preach is that Amazing customer service starts with treating everyone well.  If you want more loyal customers, treat them well. But in doing so you need to treat everyone well, not just customers.

What’s amusing (but in a sad way) is how many people who contact me violate this very basic idea. They request information. They want pricing. They have a question. They expect me to stop what I’m doing and respond to them. They want my help.

Yet, when I do what they ask, many never have the courtesy to respond or reply. No “thanks”. No confirmation they received the information. Nothing.

They want to improve customer service but they don’t even treat me with basic courtesy and respect.

And they wonder why they have customer service problems!

I know why this happens.

Some people (not all, thankfully) believe it’s okay to be a lousy customer. They think being a customer gives them the right to be rude, impatient, inconsiderate, demanding, thankless, abrasive, condescending, (enter your favorite adjective here). For some reason, being on the customer side of the transaction makes some people feel like the King or Queen and the other people are their minions.

These people forget being a customer does not grant them the right to be a jerk.

There are two lessons I take from this. One is that even jerks should get good service. Because professionals always do the best job they can, even when their customer is not so pleasant. We should always treat everyone well.

The other lesson is for us when we are the customer. If you want better service, be a better customer.

It’s human nature to treat people well who treat us well. We reciprocate and we mirror. We give back what we get. It’s a habit most of us develop at a young age.

Plus, when you treat others well, you put them at ease. You create a situation where it’s easier to perform well. You help them forget whatever might be causing them stress so they can focus on you. Because you focused on them.