I am the most loyal customer a company could ever ask for. At the end of this year I will have been on 500 flights on American Airlines in the last 5 years, stayed 400 nights at Starwood hotels in the last 8 years and been a customer of US Bank for 35 years. When I find a company that treats me right I stay with them forever. When I am treated like I’m a means to an end, an inconvenience as part of their job, or not honored with the service as promised I’m happy to take my business elsewhere to make a business relationship.

Each year the airline, hotel chain, or the bank drops the ball in some area of delivering service up to expectations as promised and you have to wonder could you receive better service somewhere else. This really only happens 2% of the time for those companies who pride themselves on customer service. I’m certainly not perfect, nor can we expect everyone else to be every day. It’s simply not possible.

When you check Facebook and Twitter you see customers bashing their suppliers because of the level of service they received as if it happens every single time. Those customers certainly might have a valid claim but if they do not know how to handle themselves or have realistic expectations it’s no wonder they get treated they way they do. 1% of the population does have a personality disorder or were not raised in a loving environment so you can’t really blame them either.

I’ve found that when I’ve had a problem, sympathized with the supplier about what they are going through, talk through what the options are, and ask for something realistic I receive my request most of the time. It’s when the supplier immediately starts with a nasty attitude, won’t listen, or has a disgruntled look on their face you have to wonder how many other customers experience this on a regular basis. If brought to the attention of management, they can then decide to see the situation as a learning/training opportunity with the employee or blame the customer for not following policy.

Have you ever been mistreated by an employee from one of your service providers before?

Did you have realistic expectations in the beginning and how you wanted your problem solved?

Was management sincerely apologetic or refer back to policy as the deciding factor?

Is it worth taking your business elsewhere despite a few sour experiences a year?

Would love to hear about one of your personal stories.


Organizations bring in Doug Devitre from St. Louis, Missouri USA when they want to dramatically increase operational performance, create breakthrough value propositions, and serve customers beyond geographical constraints on a minimal budget. For more than a decade he has been setting trends with how organizations engage customers with social media, video marketing, and custom-built software applications. Doug’s book Screen to Screen Selling published by McGraw Hill pioneered the way sales professionals sold homes without being physically present before the COVID-19 pandemic. He is one of a select few who have earned the Certified Speaking Professional Designation from the National Speakers Association and has experience as a REALTOR.

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