Are You the Type of Customer You Would Want to Work With?
I talk a lot about creating a positive customer experience for the people working with your business. But what happens when the tables are turned and you’re the customer who’s dealing with another business’s customer experience…
Are you the type of customer you would want to work with? How do you speak to and interact with the people providing service to you — especially when the service or situation is less than ideal?
Because, here’s the truth: How you treat others when you are on the receiving end of a not-so-great customer experience speaks volumes about how you view and manage the customer experience in your own business.
This is true even if it’s not an accurate reflection of how you treat your customers!
Here’s an example from my own life to help illustrate my point:
On a recent trip to Italy, I was on an airplane during the home stretch of a very long travel day. My fellow passengers and I had gone all the way from Milan to Montreal, and we were waiting on a connecting flight from Montreal back home to Toronto.
There had been several delays, and everyone was exhausted and ready for the day to be over. We’ve all been on those kinds of trips, right?
It’s frustrating, but in the end, it’s no one’s fault — especially not the poor flight attendants who have to deal with the majority of passengers’ irritation and exhaustion.
While waiting for our delayed flight, there was another traveler (who also happened to be a business owner) who approached the desk at our gate. And he was very much the type of customer who was loudly trying to make his anger at the situation known.
He started a very heated conversation that quickly escalated to a lot of yelling and berating of the flight attendant at the desk who was being as patient and kind as humanly possible at that moment.
Near the beginning of this awful interaction, this passenger made it very clear to everyone in earshot that he would never allow this type of terrible customer experience to happen in his business. Then, he went on and on about his customers being his biggest priority and that he always put them first.
And while this might be true, he could be an amazing business owner who highly values his customers and serves them well, but I doubt it. Based on this single interaction where I witnessed the type of customer he is in a frustrating situation, I would NEVER trust him with my business, nor would I ever recommend him to others.
Now, maybe on a good day when things are going well, he really does treat people kindly and prioritizes his customers. However, in business, we all know that not every day is going to be good.
Shit is eventually going to hit the fan because that’s just life. And it’s how you treat people in those moments that get to the heart of your character and integrity.
And how you treat others in those moments will eventually trickle down into your own business, whether you prioritize customer experience or not.
Sure, your customers may not see it at first, but the people who work for you will. So will the people who happen to interact with you in other businesses and spaces. It’s eventually going to come out. And it’s going to lose you business.
If you are the type of customer who is unkind and disrespectful, people will take notice, and it’s going to cost you in the long run. You have to practice what you preach when it comes to how you show up in the world and how you treat people inside AND outside of your business. Be the type of customer you want to serve.