Who do you think is your customer? #whosyourcustomer | Week 2


By: Christine Churchill, Managing Director, Customer Service Institute of America


Customer Service seems fairly self-explanatory and straight-forward. But is it really?

In general, when we think of our customer, we think of the person that is spending money with us. The one that is ultimately viewed as keeping the doors of our company open. This agreed to definition of the customer, while still accurate, should be broadened.

We also tend to think of internal customers. The people we work with that we often need to rely on in order to ensure our job responsibilities are able to be executed.

I have worked in customer service longer than I care to admit and know that, for the most part, while we recognize that both these groups are our customer, we are often inconsistent in our treatment of these customers – especially internal customers.

When thinking about our customers, it is important to understand how the universe works. The energy, good or bad, that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you. When you consider this statement, it is reasonable to imagine that all individuals are our customer.

Treating others well, with hospitality, will provide a sense of joy that extends to all other areas of life, while also creating a “pay it forward” environment that generates positivity.

All this is well and good, but I know many of you are asking how, from a bottom line perspective, this is even relevant.

In today’s digital world, social media, and the conversations and reviews about your organization that reside there influence a staggering number (the majority) of individuals, and organizations, making spending decisions.

Sourced from BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2016:

  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to
  • 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business
  • 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews
  • 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant
  • 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
  • 58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is most important

This means that if you, or a team member, is negative and nasty, whether it be to a current customer, potential customer, team member, the person catering lunch that day, pulling out of a parking garage, at a dinner party, etc., the perception created is that the organization you represent has a culture that tolerates, and may even encourage, this type of attitude and behavior.

Like it or not, these small moments, in and outside of work can, and do, affect people’s perception, discussion, and actions when it comes to engaging with you or your organization.

Think before you speak and always, always, strive to follow the Golden Rule…

“Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You.”



Where can great customer service take you and your company? Find out at http://login.serviceinstitute.com/, where you will find information on how individuals and companies can be educated and certified for customer service excellence.

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