The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


To our Customers…

Recently, I wondered whether modern technology was actually making Customer Service worse (see ).  Well, it has been said:

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do. 

Dale Carnegie

So, to avoid seeming foolish, permit me to share a few thoughts about how we can improve Customer Service vs. just complaining about it.

If we come in contact of any kind with our customers, we are customer service representatives of our companies.  In Ernie Humphrey’s recent post, “CFOs: True Customer Service is a Competitive Advantage” (see ) he suggests that CFO’s should not only support the delivery of great customer service – they should own it!

Permit me to add to Ernie’s list of how to leverage customer service as a competitive advantage:

  1. Attitude – Everything starts with attitude. Let’s check our problems at the door; Customer Service is about addressing our client’s problems. And yes, when they call they will be calling with a complaint never a compliment.  And yes, they will likely be grumpy so be prepared.  And yes, our Unknown Sage reminds us:

The customer may not always be right, but the customer is not the enemy.

Let me pause and applaud John Hanson, Owner of Infinity Logo Solutions.  John’s provides my wife’s company the most stellar customer service I have ever seen!  Every time she calls – he returns her call, promptly.  Every technical issue she runs into – he either helps resolve, or if he can’t he guides her to the person who can.  Every time she needs him to come on-site for a repair – he responds cheerfully, whether the service issue was her fault; a warranty fault; or no body’s fault.  Every time – even on weekends.  His customer service attitude is stellar!

  1. Anticipation – Just like our children, if they don’t get the answer they’re looking for from Mom; they’re going to ask Dad.

CS_Dept_Cartoon (1)Yes, we sales types do exaggerate on occasion.  So let’s everybody get over it.  We should anticipate that the customer sometimes exaggerates the sales rep’s exaggerations.  It’s our job to return the dialog back to reality – just like Mom.

  1. Technology – Yes, I said it; we should use technology to help us deliver excellent customer service. With email, cell phone, IM and social media, our goal should be “Near-Real-Time-Response”; even if it’s bad news:

Bad news does not improve with age. 

D. Michael Abrashoff

And let’s use voice mail to improve customer communication, OK?

Standard Greeting – “I’m on the phone or away from my desk”… 

OK Captain Obvious, can we be any more vague?  How about adding “for Monday” or whatever the day is so they know we were at least in the vicinity of our voice mail today?  And if we’re actually out of the office how about adding the next date/time we plan to listen to messages?

BTW with my voice mail greeting, I’m never “in a meeting”; customers hate it when we’re “in a meeting”.  I’m only “with another customer” or “out of the office”.  The customer is still unhappy, but at least I didn’t add fuel to their fire by being “in a meeting”.

If we’re good at customer service – they will call us more frequently, so be ready.  When they call us less frequently – they’ve given up hope; they’re abandoning us (which of course is how customers ultimately fire us).

So here’s to our customers who call us for service:

The customer may not always be right, but the customer is always the customer. 


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:


One Comment

  1. debbie
    Mar 26, 2015

    Customer service is a dying art, unfortunately. I am so lucky to have John Hansen in my corner. He delivers the best customer service I ever had.
    Great ditty.

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