The Customer IS ALWAYS Right!
By Rodney Camren
Happy New Year and I want to welcome you to the year 2015. It is customary for many people to start a New Year with a New Year’s resolutions, for a positive change in their lives. Some people want to lose weight, others stop smoking, and some want to pay off bills or save more money as part of their New Year’s Resolution.
Research has shown you need 21 consecutive days to start a new habit. I would like to challenge everyone this year to change your mindset. Change your mindset from things always being me, me, me to a mindset of one from contribution and of service to others. How many times have you gone to a business or government building and been treated “less than” or treated with a ”dismissive attitude” by the employees of the place in question or even by the elected leaders in your community? Many of us have; in fact, it seems to be a very common attitude in many places today. Many American’s claim to be of Christian faith; however their attitude and behavior towards others doesn’t really show the examples of a Christ-like mindset. It is not only the Christians who claim the need for a service mentality you will find this mission across all religious borders.
So if we are all taught to be of service to others, why is there so much attitude and intentional hatred towards others? Have you ever heard the quote “hurting people hurt others”? It makes me wonder why there are so many people out there that hurt right now. If rude and dismissive employees are hurting, they will be lashing out at customers unfairly. If the customer themselves are hurting they will be lashing out at everyone in their paths. Too often businesses and governments alike have become more transaction oriented and there is no personal care for those who want or need their services. There is no real connection. There is a lot of work and emotions to being a service to people. The ups and downs of not only the transaction but all parties’ emotions involved too. It is easier and less draining to not be involved personally and just give the attitude of here is the transaction, take it or leave it than it is to go the emotional journey to the end. Many times businesses and governments claim they are servants and want to help and are eager to hear what you have to say, however, when you give them comments they never really address the customers’ needs or concerns. This dismissive behavior reinforces a feeling of betrayal when lured into believing that their input matters. When a customer comes to you and they clearly have a chip on their shoulder, ask yourself, could this person have just gotten into an argument with their spouse? Could this person be facing the challenges of bad news for themselves or a family member regarding a disease or financial devastations? Could this person still be suffering the long term afflictions of losing a loved one? There are so many challenges in life’s daily journey, it is hard to be a positive go lucky individual at times, or is it. From all of my reading materials happiness is not a place but a choice. Remember, not everyone gets that yet.
I just finished reading the national bestseller “The Starbucks Experience” by Joseph A. Michelli and what an amazing read it was for me. So you are probably asking what does positive/negative attitudes and Starbucks Coffee have in common? Since 1992 Starbucks is a company that’s stock has risen 5,000%. They didn’t do this because their coffee is superior to all other coffees, you can get coffee anywhere. According to Mr. Michelli, “The genius of Starbucks success lies in its ability to create personalized customer experiences.” When you come from service and contribution you as a business owner or service provider also create customer loyalty. In many cases in the book there are stories of angry costumers that come into the stores and yet the barista’s didn’t retaliate they “connected, discovered, and responded”. They are taught to take the emotional journey with their clients. Instead of saying no, they find a solution. Things are not always so black and white; sometime you have to find the various shades of gray in certain circumstances. Are you a leader in business or government that encourages people not to ask “yes” or “no” but “how”? If not, I encourage you to start looking in those terms. Once you help or elevate others they in turn will help and elevate you too. At Keller Williams Realty we are taught to find out the clients’ “BIG WHY”. What is it that motivates them and how is it I can be of service to them? We all have a big why, there is something that always motivates you to get you moving in the direction you need to go. Once knowing what that big why is, you can move faster and with greater ease. When you share it with others and they help you get to that big why it becomes a win-win. You help others to succeed and they will help you. You see it is not what you do or choose in life as a career, we all have a job. Each job has day to day things to do that come with the job description. Sometimes those day to day things are not fun or easy. The mentality and actions one should take isn’t I am a _________________ (fill in the blank with your career/job). The true mentality and actions of a person should be I am in the customer service business and I just happen to be in ________________ (fill in the blank with your career/job).
This article is sponsored by New Lawrenceville. New Lawrenceville is a FREE networking organization of businesses and volunteers that are working to bring community together. https://www.facebook.com/NEWLawrenceville?fref=ts
Author Rodney Camren helps to lead New Lawrenceville in an effort to promote buying locally, educate the community on issues that affect our community. Rodney Camren is a Real Estate Agent with Keller Wiliams.