Customer service is a lost art: Is your company about building relationships?

Customer service is a lost art: Is your company about building relationships?



If you are a business owner or manager, I have ONE New Year’s Resolution for you: BETTER…AMAZING…QUICK…RESPONSIVE…MIND BLOWING…CUSTOMER SERVICE!

Like me, I am sure you’d love your customers to be lifers! To extol your virtues! To sing your praises to the world! Yes? I hope so!


We all know, for many reasons…customer service is a lost art.

Mind-Boggingly: It’s not a priority for many. I don’t get that…but it’s true.

Recently, I purchased two t-shirts, a long sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt from an on-line company, with certain images on them that I love to collect.

All of the garments, except for the sweatshirt, had clear images. The sweatshirt’s image however was a bit blurry and a tad off center.

I got on line (as there is no number to call…and if there was, I doubt there would be anyone to answer) and emailed their “customer service” department about the issue.

Next day, I received an automated email, asking me to rate the transaction experience. I sent it back to them, and repeated the message that I had sent to their “customer service” people, and asked if they really wanted me to rate the transaction. 3 days later, I received another request to rate the transaction. I re-emailed the “customer service” department asking for a response, and solution.

No response. 2 weeks later, I actually received an email from someone, asking how they can help. Really??  I replied that I did not want a refund. I actually liked the garment quality, and simply wanted a replacement with a quality image. At the writing of this article (Dec 11th), it’s been 2 weeks since I answered their very tardy response, and I still have no resolution to the problem…or communication back from them. Truthfully, I am not sure if I will ever receive a reply…or a replacement. What I am sure of, is that I will never do business with them ever again. I actually LOVE 75% of my order…and of the 25% I am displeased with, I actually love the garment. It’s just the image quality and placement I would like fixed.

Now, I am not naive. I know many on-line companies are just order factories. They are not built around service. It’s all about the transaction.

So, ask yourself: Is your company just about transactions? Do sales-only rule your daily existence? If so, you are on the fast road to trouble.

Is your company about building relationships, serving customers, and creating lifetime believers, lovers, virtue extollers and praise singers? If so, this path gives you customers who want to support you, trust you and believe in you. It’s so much more cost effective, and profitable to get current/recent customers to do business with you again…rather than to constantly start from scratch and get new customers to jump on the ol’ bandwagon. New customers are crucial, but by serving your clients with mind blowing service, you create a legion of returning revenue…and people excited to tell your story to others.

Answer the phone. Return emails. Listen. Solve problems. Fix mistakes. Do this at a lightening pace…and you win!

Never think you’ve made it to the Customer Service Valhalla! Always keep your eye on the ball of improvement!

Good Luck in 2022!


Spencer Rubin is a sales/marketing expert and a passionate advocate for the success of small, local business owners. To sign up for Spencer’s weekly Catalyst Newsletter, contact 971-732-4745.

“Don’t give up, don’t EVER give up” ~Coach Jim Valvano