Being a Customer

I have recently been working on a proposal to help an organisation become more customer focused, and it has really made me think about the other side of the story – the customer. My conclusion is that we all need training to be good customers, not just to treat customers well!

Most of us are passive victims as customers, whether the responsiveness to us is good or bad. Yet with a little pro-active effort on our part, we can often change our experience for the better.

For example, smiling, saying hello, saying thank you, all make a difference to our server and take little from us. Imagine for a moment that you are that server. You have to be pleasant all day/evening to the unresponsive and unsmiling creatures most of us are – wouldn’t you get to the point of being unresponsive? On top of that, you maybe have a boss who never praises you, and doesn’t appreciate what you do – are you sullen and fed up yet?!

We can help people to want to serve us with a genuine smile, by treating them well, by making them feel noticed and valued. And if they do make an effort for us, we can appreciate it, rather than only commenting if we have a complaint. Let’s have a ‘Being a Good Customer’ week!


  1. Smile and say hello to 5 people who are in some way serving you this week, even if they don’t respond.
  2. Thank anyone who serves you well this month, and maybe write a letter appreciating their service to their boss.
  3. Apply the same principle to those who ‘serve’ you at work – your colleagues, and those from other departments who help you to do your job.


About Di Kamp

Di Kamp is chief executive of Meta and has been involved in the field of developing people and organisations for 35 years. She has worked with a variety of organisations, and specialises in enabling senior managers to guide their organisations from good enough to excellence, and enabling management teams to lead their people in a way that will enhance their performance. Di has written several books, including manuals for trainers, one on staff appraisals, one on workplace counselling, one on improving your excellence as a trainer, one on people skills, and one on being a 21st century manager. She is currently preparing a further book on the secret of sustainable successful organisations.

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