Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

Customer Service Is a Habit (So Is Bad Customer Service)

This week I released my new book Be Amazing or Go Home (Available from Amazon). The article below is an example of one of the habits taught in the book. Happy Customer Service Week!

One day my assistant came in late. Not a big deal. That was until she came in late two more times that week. The following week the same thing happened again. This was becoming a habit – and not a good one.

So, we had a short talk about it. I asked her what our mantra was at Shepard Presentations. She said, “To be amazing.” She was right.

So, I asked her, “Is showing up late three or four times a week amazing behavior?”

She gave me the obvious answer, “No.”

I replied, “I agree. This is a habit that must stop. So, you have a choice. Be amazing or go home.”

She smiled and said, “That’s a great title for a book! You better write that down.”

I did, and guess what? It became a book, officially titled, Be Amazing or Go Home: Seven Customer Service Habits that Create Confidence with Everyone.

You see, if showing up late is a bad habit, then showing up early is a good habit. Delivering good customer service is a habit. You know what’s right. You practice it day after day on real customers. You get better at it. You may even get special customer service training. And, when it becomes natural, it’s like many other good things you do over and over. It becomes a habit.

When I was just twelve years old I started my own business; doing magic shows for children’s birthday parties. There were several important habits I picked up from my parents. I wrote thank you notes to the parents that hired me to perform for their child’s party. I always showed up on time. I always did the best job I could, never giving less than 100%. I always stayed a little longer than expected, and the parents really appreciated that. I had to consciously think about doing all of that and more until I did it enough times that it became natural. It became my version of common sense. That’s what makes it a habit.

Those habits as a twelve-year-old magician stayed with me. Today, these habits drive my business. I’ve shared with you a story about my assistant. That’s the first lesson in the book. It’s simply this:

Amazing people show up ready to amaze!

What that means is if the office opens at 8:00. Showing up at 8:00 isn’t really showing up on time. It’s getting there on time. Showing up on time, ready to amaze, is arriving early enough to be ready to go at 8:00. There’s a difference.

By the way, my assistant broke the bad habit and started showing up to work on time. She chose not to go home. She chose to be amazing!

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact or For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

(Copyright © MMXVII, Shep Hyken)



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