In my last post, I wrote that the easiest way to figure out what customers want is to start with what you want. The Golden Rule is a great starting place for leaders who want to improve their focus on customers.

Use your own experiences as a customer to help you get specific about what makes a customer service experience great. As you reflect, keep a list of qualities you want to develop in yourself and within your organization.

Here’s my list:


When I am a customer, I want to be updated with information I need. This summer, I bought some furniture for my living room. The salesperson told me it would be delivered in 7 to 10 business days. After more than two weeks passed, I had to call several times to check on my order. Compare this to the service I received at a different furniture store. When my order was delayed, their warehouse called to let me know and gave me an updated estimate of when my order would be delivered. In both cases, I felt disappointed about the delay. However, I much preferred the service of the company that kept me up-to-date about the status of my order.

Timely service

When I have a customer service concern, I want a quick response. One of the reasons I love social media is because it connects people where they are, allowing for quick feedback.

Human Connection 

I appreciate the ability to interact with people. I always try to bypass automated systems so that I can talk to someone… anyone.


Once I reach a person, I want to know that they will listen to and care about my concerns. Empathy is disarming. I’ve been pretty frustrated lately about a major appliance (still under warranty) that doesn’t work properly. After several repairs, my patience is running out. When I called for (yet another) repair, my anger quickly dissipated due to the empathetic words of the person on the other end of the phone.


Empathy is nice, but I also want to see action. Do something about my issue. Fix it. That’s why I called. As a customer, I want the organization I am interacting with to take action about my concern.

Join the conversation!

What is most important to you as a customer?

What makes your list?


This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is reposted with permission.