If customer service isn't number one on your list of priorities, you are gonna lose big. I don't care what industry you are in—if you put anything else over the experience your customer has while engaging with you, quit now and go find something you...

If customer service isn’t number one on your list of priorities, you are gonna lose big. I don’t care what industry you are in—if you put anything else over the experience your customer has while engaging with you, quit now and go find something you really enjoy doing so you can stop making customers miserable. If you don’t love what you are doing, it gets pretty difficult to give great customer service—pull up any recent bad experience with a retail clerk, motor vehicles attendant, cable TV guy—I know you can conjure something up! Now, think about the last really excellent experience you had, especially when someone was helping you deal with a not-so-pleasant situation—perhaps you lost something, needed to change a reservation, needed help.

Good customer service isn’t about being nice only when things are going along swimmingly. It’s more about how you conduct yourself during difficult or stressful situations.

Interesting Fact: If you look around, you can find some recent studies showing that experiences which produce lots of adrenaline also cement those experiences into your memory more firmly than experiences that might have produced less of a chemical reaction.

When I get mad, my adrenaline gets going and, thus, I remember it—for a long, long time. Whereas when I feel happy, I don’t necessarily feel my adrenaline pumping, although my endorphins are definitely assisting my state of happiness. Though it feels good in the moment, its impact isn’t enough to have the same effect on my physical memory. I suspect I would have to be 500% happy to produce the same lasting memory that 80% mad generates.

Why does this matter? Well, you have to work harder at keeping people happy; making people mad is easy. And, for every person you make mad, you create a negative and long lasting memory. Although you’re making people happy, they may forget about it or they may not realize just how great it was to feel happy—or they may be distracted by an angry memory. So, you have to remind them more and more often about how great feeling happy is and you must make sure you don’t ruin all your hard work by making them angry along the way.

This is my motto when it comes to customer service. The only time I stray from it is when I am faced with a customer who is “toxic”, or impossible to make happy. Then it’s clear that we should part ways—hopefully, in the most pleasant manner possible!

This post was inspired by pictures our client shared with us showing their celebration of the launch of their new Website. I would say these pictures helped me create a lasting positive memory of working hard for this client—definitely something worth caring about. And a client who is celebrating this joyously over what we all know can be a long and painful journey is definitely a happy customer.

Share on Twitter or Facebook Published October 20th 2009