The personal side of customer service. New rules of the game.

The personal side of customer service. New rules of the game.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Everyone will tell you they focus on delivering great customer service.

Very few do.

Most people say they don’t like their jobs that’s a symptom, not a problem. The problem is that they don’t like themselves or treat themselves well mentally.

They are victims of “woe is me.” One of America’s most (self) crippling diseases. Then comes company rules and policies, and angry customers. If the customer is angry, and the employee is unhappy, the end result is fire. (or worse, “get fired” if you handle it wrong.)

How you feel and how you think will determine how you serve.

The reason that customer service sucks (and is getting worse) is that beside feelings of resentment, there are no “core principles” behind the training and the policy. For service to succeed, there must be an understanding of “why” by the service provider, or the “what” doesn’t matter.

At the fulcrum point are core business principles, personal principles and service strategies that must be learned and understood BEFORE you can even think of taking on the corporate teachings about rules and policies.

Here is part two of the 33.5 Core Principles of Customer Service. The second batch presented this week are “the personal big picture” basic human understandings. The numbers pick up from last weeks list:

  1. The customer is your paycheck No customers, no money, no money, no food. You must recognize that the customer is the source of your income not your company they are just a conduit for funds put there by customers. How do you view the customer? Do you really understand where your food money comes from?
  2. Service is tied to selfbelief. In order to provide memorable service or for a sale to take place, 3 things must be present you gotta believe you work for the greatest company in the world, you gotta believe you have the greatest products and services in the world, you gotta believe you’re the greatest person in the world. Three key words, you gotta believe. Do you believe in yourself and what you do?
  3. Your attitude (the way you dedicate yourself to the way you think) determines the degree of excellence of service you will perform. Positive attitude is the foundation of your life and the determining factor of your ability to serve. How much time each day do you spend building your attitude?
  4. The fundamental courses you need to succeed at customer service were never taught in school. Positive attitude, goal setting, listening, pride, and responsibility must be learned on your own and mastered in order to succeed. How important is positive attitude to your success? Have you ever had a course in positive attitude?
  5. Your listening skills must be as good as your speaking skills. Listening provides a wider path to the sale than talking. Listen with the intent to understand. Write down answers before speaking. How much do you write when you listen?
  6. The opposite of responsibility is blame. Your level of responsibility determines your customer’s perception of you as a “renter” or “owner.” Do you own the car, or just rent it? Which do you take care of better, your car or a rental car?
  7. Customers may be angry about other things, but you think they’re just mad at you. Customers have other problems beyond broken machines or service needs, and may be taking those problems out on you. Do you make the mistake of taking a customers anger personally?
  8. Your friendliness and willingness to help is in direct proportion to your success. How friendly are you?
  9. You represent the perceived image of your company if you’re a great person, they think your company is a full of great people if you’re a jerk… What is the image others have of you?
  10. Your reputation is there before you arrive. What is the reputation of your company? What is your reputation? What are you doing to build your reputation?
  11. Service is a feeling. You know what it is when you get it so give back the same thing or more. The simple secret is don’t give any feeling to others you wouldn’t want to feel.
  12. If you can make ’em laugh you can make ’em buy. Humor an important element in building a relationship. How often do you make people smile?


  1. An apple a day a lesson a day. The daily dose of new information will build your customer service (people) skills. What new lessons are you learning each day?
  2. Stay a student Jim Rohn says: “Formal education will earn you a living self education will earn you a fortune.” How much of a fortune are you “learning?” Or do you still know everything?
  3. The secret to success of customer service is start with YES. Don’t give the customer a bunch of lame excuses or reasons you can’t do what they want. Give solutions, not excuses. Do you tell people why they can’t or how they can?
  4. Own the problem, own the customer, lose the problem, lose the customer. Rethinking the phrases “that’s not my problem,” “that’s not my job,” or “you’ll have to call someone else.” Are you handling the problem?
  5. Personal principles precede company policy. Develop principles then and only then can you effectively deliver policy and never say “our policy says” substitute the phrase: In order to be fair to everyone.

Well, there they are. The core principles behind the service delivery. Are they simple? Yes. Are they easy to master? No. But here’s the secret to get great at providing memorable service that leads to positive word of mouth advertising, a great reputation, reorders, and unsolicited referrals…

33.5 You don’t get great at customer service in a day, you get great at customer service day by day. What are you doing to improve yourself and your service every day?


What do customers want? I’d love to send you a list to solve the mystery and put you on the service path to success. Just go to, register if you’re a first-time user and enter the words CUSTOMERS WANT in the GitBit box.