Contact Shep (314) 692-2200

Customer Service Begins with Accountability

How can accountability create Moments of Magic®?

Shep Hyken sits down with Sam Silverstein to discuss the importance of fostering a culture of accountability, which empowers employees to give truly amazing customer service.

Subscribe and Listen

Top Takeaways:

  • Sam says that to have great customer service, you need accountability from all employees – especially leadership.
  • Accountability isn’t about doing things, it’s a way of thinking – you’re responsible for things and accountable to people. Sam gives an example of a company with customer service in its mission statement but has notoriously bad customer service. Fixing a problem isn’t accountability, that’s just being responsible. The problems are caused by a lack of accountability in the first place.
  • Some companies can’t migrate into a culture of accountability because they are acclimated to unaccountability.
  • A perfect example of accountability is Happy State Bank, where Sam once saw a man walk into a bank after closing time at 5:15 p.m. He learned that Happy State Bank, even though they close at 5:00, leaves the doors unlocked until 5:30. Why? Because we all hate that feeling of showing up right at 5:00 and the doors are locked. There’s a huge difference between saying you believe in accountability and showing it.
  • Organizations need to be willing to fire people who don’t live up to their commitments, even if they’re the top salesperson. Not enough employees are firing their companies fast enough when they don’t believe in the organization’s commitments. Why stay somewhere where they don’t get it?
  • Disney practices a high level of accountability, so people want to work there. If you create an environment where people want to be accountable, you attract the best and you employ the best. This reduces turnover and improves customer service and productivity.
  • Many leaders are focused on their bottom line, not their people. Yes, you need to make a profit, but if you’re focused on your people, you create a culture where everyone is focused on the bottom line.
  • You can’t fake accountability. Care about your people, and create an environment that’s emotionally safe for them. Care for people like they’re your children. When leadership practices accountability, it’s going to show up in the culture.


“We need to first serve customers with purpose, on purpose, for purpose.” – Sam Silverstein

“When it comes to a company’s culture, everything rises and falls on leadership.” – Sam Silverstein

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How do you improve accountability?
  2. How can you be accountable at work?
  3. Why does accountability matter?
  4. What are examples of accountability?
  5. What is the difference between responsibility and accountability?
  6. What does accountability mean in the workplace?


Sam Silverstein is a leadership keynote speaker and author of seven books including “Making Accountable Decisions” and “Non-Negotiable.” A former executive of manufacturing and distribution companies, Sam writes, speaks, and consults with organizations around the globe to think differently, work with renewed purpose, and achieve record-breaking results

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, “New York Times” best-selling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

Want to receive Shep’s latest customer service and CX research?

Sign up for instant access to Shep’s research report on customer service and customer experience.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

© 2024 Shepard Presentations, LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

Legal Information | Sitemap Legap

Site by: digitalONDA