We Are All In the Customer Service Industry

“We are in the Customer Service industry yet we just happen to fly airplanes.”

Southwest Airlines

Is this how your company sees your business? This mentality is what keeps Southwest Airlines at the top of the customer service winners list year after year. Instead of thinking of themselves first and foremost as an airline, Southwest remembers that customers  got them where they are today. Everything is centered around the customer.

Maybe this is why you started your business. You thought of a way to help people. At that time you were thinking of customers. After awhile, as the business grows we somehow transition into seeing ourselves as Widgets and Sprockets, Inc. and began to look inwards more often that outwards.

Departmental silos formed. Energy was focused on improving the product or coming out with a new one, but all the ideas were internal. We thought more about how to entice people to buy our stuff but once the sale was over, we didn’t pay attention to them anymore. Customers became a “burden” we had to bear. With more employees the culture of customers first was lost in the shuffle.

Find a way to remember that the customer is at the center of it all. Without them, there is no business. People come back to places where they have been treated well and avoid places where they are taken for granted, ignored, or treated badly.

I’m not saying there are no bad customers. There will always be someone who can’t be pleased. But you must take the high road. This tells everyone that you are more interested in them than in defending your business. Cultivate a listening culture that reminds everyone where this business began.

With the idea of helping people.


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